Parliamentary panel concerned over giving Sebi more teeth

Parliamentary panel concerned over giving Sebi more teeth

Cutting across party lines, members of a Parliamentary standing committee have expressed concerns about some clauses in a proposed bill that gives powers to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to attach immovable properties and carry out search and seizure operations in connection with its investigations.

Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who heads the standing committee on finance, which discussed the Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2013, said its members also insisted that prompt payment of compensation should be made to investors in cases of fraud.

They suggested that small investors should be paid within a specific timeframe after the regulator seizes funds while probing fraud cases and the investors need not wait till the delivery of the court judgement, another panel member said.

The panel discussed the bill that seeks to amend the Sebi Act, 1992, with consequential changes in the Securities Contracts Regulation Act, 1956 and the Depositories Act, 1996.

The new bill proposes to empower Sebi to order disgorgement of unfair gains while also authorising it to attach bank accounts and property as well as arrest and detain a person for failure to comply with disgorgement orders or pay monetary penalty.

The new legislation also proposes to establish special fast-track courts for speedy trial of offences under the Act.

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