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Investor complaint case: SC expunges SAT's comments against Sebi

“We have no hesitation in stating that Sebi as a regulator in the instant case has not performed its duties and has kept the complaint pending for more than six years, which speaks volumes by itself. The tribunal fails to fathom why the complaint could not have been decided unless Sebi officials had a vested interest in not deciding the matter," SAT had said.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 28, 2020, 11.00 PM IST
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Supreme-Court-BCCL
Sebi contested the order before the Supreme Court on the ground that a computer generated response by the regulator cannot be treated as an order. The regulator also argued that the tribunal has exceeded its jurisdiction in making such adverse remarks against it.
MUMBAI: The Supreme Court said Tuesday that certain observations made by the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) against the market regulator, in a recent order on the disposal of an investor complaint, were uncalled for.

In an order dated November 14, 2019, in the matter of Ashok Dayabhai Shah & others, SAT had said: “We have no hesitation in stating that Sebi as a regulator in the instant case has not performed its duties and has kept the complaint pending for more than six years, which speaks volumes by itself. The tribunal fails to fathom why the complaint could not have been decided unless Sebi officials had a vested interest in not deciding the matter."

Sebi contested the order before the Supreme Court on the ground that a computer generated response by the regulator cannot be treated as an order. The regulator also argued that the tribunal has exceeded its jurisdiction in making such adverse remarks against it.

The Supreme Court said that observations, such as the computer generated disposal of a serious complaint speaks volume on the conduct of the respondents (Sebi), and the part of the order related to "vested interest in not deciding the matter” were unwarranted.

"May be, there was some(thing) remiss on the part of Sebi to act as a regulator, but casting aspersion was not warranted in the facts and circumstances of the case. As such, the adverse observations made in Paragraph No. 20 are hereby diluted," said Justices Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee in their order.

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