SEBI to be given powers to get call data records of entities

SEBI to be given powers to get call data records of entities

The government will soon give market regulator SEBI the powers to get telephone call data records (CDRs) of entities under its investigation in cases of insider trading, money laundering and other market manipulations.

SEBI will be given the powers to get CDRs, access to emails and SMSes through the amendments in the Indian Telegraph Rules, 1951, which is being worked out jointly by the Ministries of Home and Telecom.

The move to give SEBI the powers getting CDRs came following a request of the market regulator as well as the Ministry of Finance, official sources said today.

SEBI needs CDRs of entities under its investigation to establish links between two or more parties who might have had conversations among themselves before or after the incidents of insider trading, prevent black money coming to market or other manipulative activities in the market.

CDRs generally list out the number of conversations between two or more entities and are different from phone- tapping wherein an agency can snoop on or record the telephonic conversations of those suspected to be engaged in wrongdoings.

Regulators in the US and some other countries have often used tapped phone conversations to prove insider trading and other charges, including in the famous Rajat Gupta case.

Last month, SEBI chairman U.K. Sinha had told PTI that CDRs can be very useful to establish that two parties have been talking to each other and could be related entities.

"We are not asking for powers to snoop on the conversations between two entities or to do phone-tapping. We are only asking for CDR details of the persons that we are investigating and we want to know about the parties they (the entities under probe) have been interacting with," he said, adding it did not want tapping powers.

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