GANDHINAGAR: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Thursday defended himself over reports that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had penalized 22 corporate firms, including Rupani's Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), for allegedly manipulative trading through a listed firm called Sarang Chemicals and financial penalty of Rs 15 lakh.
He stated that the SEBI order had been overruled by the appellate tribunal and that there were no financial irregularities carried out by him in any manner.
There were reports suggesting that the capital markets regulator SEBI had imposed a combined penalty of Rs 6.9 crore on 22 entities, which during their investigation had revealed to be "connected or related". The SEBI had also issued a common show cause notice to all the 22 firms in May 2016 for what it called violation of SEBI Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices (PFUTP). Rupani had taken over as Chief Minister on August 7, 2016.
In an order dated October 27, SEBI said that the violations by the companies and the two brokers have been established and has hence imposed monetary penalty on each. The notice has been for two categories - one for price manipulation and the other for misleading appearance and creating fake volumes in the shares of Sarang Chemicals. The SEBI directed Rupani's HUF to pay Rs 15 lakh, while three other individuals had been asked to deposit Rs 70 lakh each or more.
"I have not received any SEBI notice. The said SEBI order was one-sided and incorrect. One of the persons named in the list had approached the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), which is a body above SEBI. The SAT has ruled that the SEBI ruling was incorrect," Rupani told the media. "There is not an illegality equivalent to even the tip of a safety pin in these transactions."
SEBI in its order on its website posted on October 27, had alleged manipulative transactions by Rupani between January and June, 2011. Following this there were reports in the media stating SEBI as saying that Rupani's HUF and 17 other entities "had indulged in artificial volume rise/creating misleading appearance of market/getting unlawful or unfair gain", and Rupani had been asked to pay the penalty within 45 days.
However, when checked, the page was not available on the SEBI website. Instead, it carried the message of "Error 404".
Later in the evening there were some clarifications sent from the Chief Minister's Office regarding the matter.
The statement reads, 'The SAT had cancelled the SEBI order on penalty regarding the transaction of Sarang Chemicals shares. Moreover, the transactions carried out by Vijay Rupani in the HUF account in Sarang Chemicals amounts to a mere 0.1 percent of the total transactions of the company, so there was no undue profiteering from the
The statement says, "Vijay Rupani bought shares valued at Rs 63,000 in 2009 and in 2011 he sold them at Rs 35,000 at a loss of Rs 28,000. He has not committed any violation of SEBI's guidelines nor carried out any kind of illegal financial transactions.