Sebi's attachment proceedings cross 1,500-mark

Sebi's attachment proceedings cross 1,500-mark

As Sebi tightens noose on defaulters and market manipulators, the number of attachment proceedings initiated by the market regulator against those having defaulted on payment of penalties has crossed the 1,500-mark.

Sebi began initiating attachment proceedings against defaulters, including individuals and companies, nearly one year ago as part of the greater powers granted to it by the government.

Since then, the Securities and Exchange Board of India has launched 1,539 attachment proceedings for the recovery of penalties imposed in as many as 449 cases.

These proceedings involve attachment of bank accounts, moveable and non-moveable properties, shares and debentures, among others.

After clearance from Parliament earlier in August, the government has notified the Securities Laws Amendments Act, which authorises Sebi to pass orders for attachment of properties, arrest and detaining of defaulters in prison and for disgorgement of ill-gotten money, among others.

Before the Act, the market watchdog was exercising this power through an ordinance, which was promulgated thrice.

The attachment proceedings have been launched by Sebi to recover collective penalties totalling close to Rs 2,000 crore imposed on various entities in matters related to violations of capital market norms.

In some cases, the attachment orders have been revoked after the concerned entities made the outstanding payments.

Sebi Chairman U K Sinha had said in August that attachment powers have helped it recover about Rs 20 crore till that time.

On October 10 last year, Sebi had initiated its first recovery proceedings by ordering banks to attach accounts of Pyramid Saimira's former promoter P Saminathan who was penalised for various market norms violations including fraudulent trading activities.

As per a government ordinance, Sebi has been granted powers to pass orders like search and seizure, attachment of properties, arrest and detention of defaulters.

The ordinance was earlier promulgated by President Pranab Mukherjee on July 18, 2013 after the cabinet gave its approval to amend the Sebi Act, 1992. The ordinance got re-promulgated on September 16 and again on March 29.

Besides bank accounts, Sebi has also in various proceedings ordered depositories, NSDL and CDSL, to attach the demat securities accounts of the erring entities.

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