1,389 defaulters have not paid Rs 136 cr as penalty: Sebi

1,389 defaulters have not paid Rs 136 cr as penalty: Sebi

Penalties totalling about Rs 136 crore have been imposed on as many as 1,389 entities by the regulator Sebi for various offences related to securities market, with some cases being more than a decade old.

Some of the defaulters have not paid up amounts as small as Rs 15,000, while the majority of individual penalties are worth a few lakhs of rupees and a few others amounting to a few crores of rupees.

According to the latest data released by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), a total of 1,389 individuals and companies had defaulted on penalties totalling about Rs 136 crore as on December 31, 2013.

This marks an increase from a total of 1,373 defaulters, which include listed companies, brokers, merchant bankers and others, for payments of about Rs 130 crore as on September 30, 2013.

Some of these dues are pending since 2000, while many of these cases are also pending in courts and at other forums.

Besides, Sebi had begun to exercise its newly-granted powers given through an ordinance promulgated by the government. The regulator attached bank accounts and other assets for recovery of the outstanding dues pending for up to 13 years.

Using these powers, Sebi began passing attachment orders and launching recovery proceedings in October 2013. It initiated over 300 attachment proceedings in about 65 different cases for recovery of close to Rs 2,000 crore from defaulters and fraudsters, including those having raised money through illicit money-pooling activities.

Sebi was given these powers last year through an ordinance, which was first promulgated in July and for second time in September, but it lapsed on January 15 as a Bill in this regard could not be passed in Parliament.

Under its recovery mechanism, Sebi was authorised to order attachment and sale of defaulter's movable property and immovable properties, freezing of bank accounts, arrest of the defaulter and his detention in prison, as also appointment of a receiver for management of movable and immovable properties.

As the proceedings in Parliament continue to remain stormy, it is unlikely that the Bill amending relevant Sebi Acts would be passed in the current session. However, the ordinance can be again promulgated for third time after end of this session, which is expected to continue till February 21.

The actions taken by Sebi till January 15 would remain valid and the recovery proceedings would continue in these cases.

As part of its recovery proceedings, the regulator had served orders to various banks to attach the accounts of those who have not paid penalties imposed on them for violations of various securities market regulations.

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