Sebi to defreeze bank accounts of NSEL, MCX ex-chiefs

Sebi will defreeze the bank accounts of NSEL‘s former CEO Anjani Sinha and MCX’s ex-chief Joseph Massey which were frozen by the regulator in an alleged insider trading case.

The markets regulator informed the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) about the decision to defreeze the bank accounts immediately when the tribunal was hearing the pleas filed by the two individuals against the Sebi order.

Sinha and Massey, who was MD & CEO of MCX, were among the individuals against whom action was initiated by the markets regulator for alleged insider trading in the shares of MCX and FTIL (now known as 63 Moons Technologies) with ‘prior information’ about the NSEL (National Spot Exchange Ltd) case.

The NSEL — which is now defunct — suspended trading on July 31, 2013 after a major payment crisis broke out at the bourse. Subsequently, a number of regulators and enforcement agencies launched their probes into the NSEL matter.

In separate rulings, the tribunal has asked Sebi to pass final orders in the case within three months after the two individuals submit their objections to the regulator’s ruling.

Separately, the tribunal has allowed MCX’s ex-CEO Shreekant Javalgekar and his wife Asha to redeem mutual funds units held by them. Thereafter, they have to create a fixed deposit for Rs 80 lakh in their name and create a lien of the amount in favour of Sebi.

All the four persons had approached the SAT against the Sebi order that impounded averted losses totalling Rs 1.4 crore through alleged insider trading in MCX and FTIL shares.

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The loss amount averted by Sinha was Rs 8.52 lakh, Massey (Rs 58.81 lakh), Shreekant Javalgekar and his wife (Rs 79.5 lakh), as per the Sebi order.

Sebi “prima facie” had found that these persons traded in the shares when in possession of ‘unpublished price sensitive information’ (UPSI).

Among others, the regulator had directed these four individuals not to dispose of or alienate any of their assets/properties securities, till the amount of loss averted is credited to an escrow account.

Besides, the banks were ordered not to debit any amount from bank accounts of these persons except for the purpose of transfer of funds to the escrow account.

According to separate orders passed by the tribunal, Sebi’s prima facie view that these four perons were insider and had traded in the securities while in possession of UPSI is “seriously disputed” by them.

The basic grievance of Sinha and Massey is that the regulator is not justified in freezing their bank accounts without giving any opportunity of personal hearing to them, as per SAT orders.

“Appellant (Sinha) in person further states that objection to the ex-parte order would be filed by the appellant within a period of two weeks from today and the appellant would also furnish to Sebi list of his assets/securities as per the impugned order within a period of one week from today,” SAT said in an order today.

“If the appellant files objection to the ex-parte order, then Sebi shall pass an order after considering the objections, if any, as expeditiously as possible and in any event within a period of three months from the date of receiving the objections from the appellant,” the order noted.

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In three other separate orders, dated August 16, the tribunal has directed Sebi to pass final orders with respect to Massey and the Javalgekars) within three months.

Source