SEBI holds Reliance Petroinvestments not guilty of insider trading

Chennai, March 9 (IANS) Markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Tuesday finally held that Reliance Petroinvestments Ltd is not guilty of insider trading in respect of Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd (IPCL).

In his order, adjudicating officer Suresh Gupta, disposing off the proceedings against Reliance Petroinvestments, held that the company was not in possession of any unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI) and did not violate any regulations.

He also said Reliance Petroinvestments is not liable to any monetary penalty, thus bringing down the curtains on the nearly nine year old insider trading case.

However Gupta did not buy Reliance Petroinvestments’ arguments that the IPCL and itself are not under the same management of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) as the latter exercised more than one-third voting power in both the companies.

The IPCL was merged with RIL after it was acquired by the latter.

The markets regulator in May 2013 found Reliance Petroinvestments guilty of insider trading and levied a penalty of Rs.11 crore.

SEBI said the company had made a profit of Rs.3.82 crore.

On appeal, the Securites Appellate Tribunal (SAT) in December 2015, set aside SEBI’s 2013 order and ordered the latter to take a relook at the case and decide within three months.

Consdering the issues afresh, Gupta in his order said “… in the absence of any evidence by the Investigating Authority to establish the access of UPSI to the noticee (Reliance Petroinvestments), it can be concluded that the noticee did not have access to UPSI while trading in the scrip of IPCL.

“Hence, it can be concluded that the noticee and RIL are not ‘insider’ as alleged in the SCN (show cause notice)…”

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