SAT to hear from Jun 20 on Sebis adjudication move against RILs insider-trading case

Mumbai, Apr 26 (PTI) The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) today adjourned the hearing on Reliance Industries petition challenging the adjudication proceedings started by Sebi in the 10-year-old insider trading case, to June 20.

The markets regulator Sebi had last week said it would begin adjudication proceedings against Reliance for alleged unlawful gains in trading of Reliance Petroleum futures in late 2007 a few months before its merger with the parent in early part of 2008.

Adjourning the hearing on the Reliance petition challenging Sebi showcause notice to begin adjudication process, SAT today said it will hear Sebis appeal first and then RILs before giving its judgement. And that the hearing on the matter will begin from June 20.

The adjudication proceeding will decide the quantum of penalty payable by Reliance for the alleged violations and illicit gains that the company is accused of making from alleged insider trading.

Sebi had alleged that Reliance had booked a profit of Rs 513 crore in the futures segment through this deal worth Rs 4,023 crore.

In March 2017, the regulator had passed an order disgorging the unlawful gains of Rs 447 crore from Reliance, which is also being heard at the tribunal.

According to Sebi rules, the penalty may go up to three times the gains, to be levied based on the adjudication process and would be over and above the disgorgement amount.

As per the Sebi order last year, Reliance was directed to give up the "unlawfully gained" amount of Rs 447.27 crore. The market regulator had also asked the Mukesh Ambani-led company to pay an interest of 12 per cent per annum since November 2007 and barred it and 12 other related entities from dealing in the derivatives segment for one year.

Reliance, terming the Sebi directions as "unjustifiable sanctions", had dragged the regulator to the tribunal soon after, which is also pending.

In 2008, Sebi had initiated a probe into the merger of Reliance Petroleum with Reliance Industries and in 2010 began quasi-judicial proceedings against the company.

The Sebi argued that Reliance was aware of the sale of shares and sold futures ahead of that, therefore amounting to insider trading, and sent a show-cause notice to the company. PTI AP BEN BEN