Appeal No.16 of 2012 With Appeal No.22 of 2012. Case: 1. Uditi Mercantile Private Limited, 2. Pams Investments & Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd. Vs Securities and Exchange Board of India. Securities and Exchange Board of India

Case Number:Appeal No.16 of 2012 With Appeal No.22 of 2012
Party Name:1. Uditi Mercantile Private Limited, 2. Pams Investments & Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd. Vs Securities and Exchange Board of India
Counsel:For Appellants: Mr. Janak Dwarkadas, Senior Advocate with Mr. Navroz Seervai, Senior Advocate, Mr. Somasekhar Sundaresan, Mr. Ravichandra Hegde, Mr. Paras Parekh, Mr. Jaikishan Lakhwani, and Mr. Abishek V., Advocates and For Respondents: Mr. Darius Khambata, Advocate General with Mr. Shiraz Rustomjee, Senior Advocate, Mr. Mihir Mody and Mr. ...
Judges:P. K. Malhotra, Member & Presiding Officer and Jog Singh, Member
Issue:Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992
Judgement Date:April 08, 2013
Court:Securities and Exchange Board of India
 
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Judgment:

P. K. Malhotra, Member & Presiding Officer

  1. This order will dispose of two Appeals Nos. 16 and 22 of 2012 which arise out of a common order dated December 15, 2010 issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (for short the Board) appointing Shri Piyoosh Gupta as adjudicating officer to enquire into and adjudicate the alleged irregularities in the issue and allotment of warrants/shares by Reliance Industries Limited to entities alleged to be associated with the Reliance Industries Limited and into possible violation of the provisions of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 (for short the Act) and various rules and regulations made thereunder.

  2. It is the grievance of the appellants in both the appeals that the issue which is being enquired into relates to January, 1994 and the action initiated by the Board in December, 2010 is time barred and highly belated. By its reply dated June 10, 2011 to the show cause notice, preliminary issues have been raised by the appellants relating to adjudication proceedings being time barred and being taken after unreasonable period. It is submitted by the learned senior counsels for the appellants that the initiation of adjudication proceedings by the Board, seventeen years after the acquisition of warrants by the appellants and eleven years after the acquisition of shares, is unreasonable, time barred and the show-cause notice ought to be set aside on this ground alone.

  3. On the other hand, Shri Darius Khambata, learned Advocate General, appearing on behalf of the Board, has referred to the submissions made in the affidavit of the respondent-Board to oppose admission of the appeals. He has specifically drawn our attention to para 13 of the affidavit wherein it is stated that this very issue has been raised by the appellants before the adjudicating officer also and ought to be left to be decided by the adjudicating officer. Our attention was also drawn to the minutes of the personal hearing which took place on October 17, 2011 before the adjudicating officer when the appellants were asked to make their submissions, and this is what is recorded in the minutes:-

    The Noticees submit that consent applications have been filed in relation to the present proceedings, and at this stage, the Noticees would not wish to make...

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