Indiabulls insider trading case: SEBI impounds Rs 87.21 lakh from former director, spouse

Pia Johnson, non-executive director of Indiabulls Ventures Ltd and her husband Mehul Johnson traded in the scrip of IVL when in possession of UPSI.

Published: 24th May 2019 10:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2019 10:06 PM   |  A+A-


SEBI building (Photo | Reuters)


NEW DELHI: Markets regulator SEBI on Friday ordered impounding of alleged unlawful gains of Rs 87 lakh made by Indiabulls Ventures's former non-executive director and her husband in an insider-trading case.

At the time of alleged violation, Pia Johnson, non-executive director of Indiabulls Ventures Ltd (IVL), and her husband Mehul Johnson traded in the scrip of IVL when in possession of unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI), SEBI said. They had such information with respect to sale of India Land and Properties Ltd (ILPL) to Indiabulls Infrastructure Ltd (IIL) and investment of IIL in ILPL.

According to the order, ILPL was indirectly owned by IVL whereas IIL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd. It was observed that the proposal relating to grant of loan from IIL to ILPL against securities originated on January 24, 2017.

The proposal ultimately led sale of ILPL to IIL / investment of IIL in ILPL and same was made public on March 15, 2017, the regulator said. Therefore, the period from January 24 to March 15, 2017 was considered to be period of UPSI, SEBI said.

The regulator said that Pia Johnson was a member of the management committee of the board of directors of IVL, hence she was reasonably expected to have access to the UPSI, thereby she is considered to be an 'insider' under Insider Trading regulations. "Being spouse of Pia Johnson, Mehul also is considered as 'insider'," the regulator said.

During the UPSI period, Pia traded 5.5 lakh shares while Mehul traded over 3.38 lakh shares, making collectively alleged gains of Rs 69.09 lakhs.

As the gains were made during year 2017, it becomes necessary to levy an annual 12 per cent interest on the alleged gains which makes the total amount to Rs 87.21 lakh, SEBI noted.

With the initiation of quasi-judicial proceedings, it is possible that the Noticees may divert the unlawful gains. It therefore becomes necessary for SEBI to take urgent steps of impounding and retaining the proceeds (wrongful gains) allegedly made by Pia Johnson and Mehul Johnson (Noticees), by way of an interim measure.

Accordingly, SEBI ordered to impound Rs 87.21 lakh ''jointly and severally" from Pia and Mehul and directed banks and depositories that no debits shall be made, without permission of the regulator.

Stay up to date on all the latest Business news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp