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SAT denies relief to Goenka, Chandra

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The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) on Monday upheld the Security and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) interim order and denied relief to Shubhash Chandra and Punit Goenka (appellants). The Tribunal opined that as the Whole Time Member (WTM) has observed that a prima facie case of siphoning of funds by the appellants for personal gains has been made out hence in the absence of any cogent evidence there is no reason to interfere in the impugned order.

Appellants had approached the SAT in June against an ex-parte ad-interim order of SEBI where it ceased them from holding any position of a director or a Key Managerial Personnel in any listed company or its subsidiaries till further orders on the grounds that there was prima facie case of siphoning of funds by the appellants for personal gains.

The contention of the appellants before SAT was that the SEBI has violated the principles of natural justice by passing an order against them without issuing any show-cause notice. Further they also contended that there was no pressing urgency that required SEBI to pass an ex-parte order. While SEBI, in its affidavit, defended its order claiming that the regulator is obliged to pass order of such nature to safeguard investors’ interest and protect the securities market’s integrity.

Punit Goenka v. Securities and Exchange Board of India (Appeal No. 492 of 2023) dtd. 10.07.2023 – Before SAT, Mumbai