Subhash Chandra gets relief against SEBI’s summons

Market regulator SEBI has given an undertaking in the Bombay High Court that it will not take any action against Subash Chandra for a period of three weeks.

Chandra had filed a writ petition against SEBI’s summons in a case related to alleged siphoning of funds.

Ravi Kadam, the lawyer appearing for Subhash Chandra, apprised the Court that the writ petition, inter alia, challenges the summons issued to the Chandra which is effectively a show cause notice and contains conclusive allegation.

Kadam further stated that other than the challenge to the summons, there are other challenges in as much as the details of the investigation is being leaked to the media. Kadam sought directions to restrain such media leaks.

Janak Dwarkadas, appearing for Zee, alleged that there could not be anyone other than SEBI who could have disclosed details to the media. He stated that Zee is a listed company and 96 per cent of the shareholders are public. He also stated that due to one particular news article, the shares of Zee have tanked almost 15 percent. Therefore, such media leaks are causing prejudice to these shareholders. The Court took a notice of these media leaks and observed that these leaks should not cause harm to the investors. Thus, the Court orally directed that SEBI should take due care and caution in this regard.

In the letter dated January 16, Chandra had characterised the investigation by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) as “predetermined,” citing evidence from the order passed by the appellant court, Justice Tarun Agarwalla, Presiding Officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal.

On August 14, 2023, SEBI had issued an order against Subhash Chandra and Punit Goenka for alleged fund diversion, and barred them from holding any key managerial positions in listed entities. SEBI mandated the completion of its investigation within eight months, setting an April deadline.

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