Karvy case: SAT suspends transfer of client securities

The move comes a day after the market regulator Sebi's directive to NSDL to transfer the investors' securities, held by Karvy Stock Broking Ltd

The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) on Tuesday suspended the further transfer of investors securities that Karvy Stock Broking Ltd had pledged with lenders.

The move comes a day after the market regulator Sebi's directive to NSDL to transfer the investors' securities, held by Karvy Stock Broking Ltd (KSBL), in their respective accounts.

The decision resulted in nearly 83,000 investors getting back their securities that were illegally transferred by the broker to its own account and were even pledged without any authorisation.

With this transfer by National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL), nearly 90 per cent investors received their securities.

Karvy has taken loans to the tune of Rs 600 crore by pledging securities worth more than Rs 2,300 crore of 95,000 clients with lenders, including Bajaj Finance.

Of these, 95,000 clients, nearly 83,000 of them have got back their securities, which were illegally transferred by KSBL to its own account.

The latest ruling came following an appeal by Bajaj Finance, which has given loans to the tune of Rs 345 crore to Karvy against pledged securities.

Bajaj Finance moved the tribunal against a Sebi order passed on November 22, which prohibited the transfer of securities from an account of KSBL with immediate effect, saying due to this directive the non-banking finance company could not invoke the pledge.

The regulator, through an order passed on November 22, had barred KSBL from taking new clients in respect of its stockbroking activities and also prevented it from using the power of attorney (PoA) given by clients after the broker was found to have allegedly misused clients' securities.

The order was a result of a preliminary report forwarded by the NSE on the non-compliances observed with respect to pledging/misuse of client securities by Karvy.

"In the interim further transfer of securities shall remain suspended from DP account...named Karvy Stock Broking Ltd (BSE)," the tribunal said in an order.

The SAT has asked the regulator to hear "the appellant (Bajaj Finance) on the basis of their representation dated November 23, 2019 and or any other additional representation which they may like to make. If the appellant is desirous to make any additional representation it shall be made latest by December 4, 2019".

It further directed Sebi "to consider the representation(s) of the appellant and, after giving an opportunity for personal hearing, pass an order as per law latest by December 10, 2019".

Leading stock exchanges NSE and BSE on Monday suspended Karvy's trading licence.

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