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SEBI slaps Rs 30 lakh fine on Reliance Industries, two others

Capital markets regulator SEBI on Monday imposed a penalty totalling Rs 30 lakh on Reliance Industries and two individuals for not making prompt clarification to the stock exchange pertaining to the Jio-Facebook deal, which was disclosed through the newspaper.

The other two individuals penalised by SEBI are Savithri Parekh and K Sethuraman.

The fine need to be paid jointly and severally by them within 45 days, according to a SEBI order.

“I find that the news pertaining JIO Facebook deal came out on March 24 and 25, 2020, and the information to the stock exchanges about the media release titled ‘Facebook to invest Rs 43,574 crore in Jio Platforms for a 9.99 per cent stake’ was made on April 22, 2020, i.e. after 28 days and this calls for an appropriate penalty,” SEBI Adjudicating Officer Barnali Mukherjee said in an order.

The regulator said Reliance Industries had the obligation to have enveloped the unpublished price-sensitive information, however, having come to know about the selective availability of the information it was incumbent upon the company to provide due clarification on its own. Thus, Parekh and Sethurama should have clarified to the exchanges on the news item.

It was observed that Reliance Industries, Parekh and Sethurama did not comply with the provision of principles of fair disclosure of unpublished price sensitive information, which states that there should be prompt dissemination of unpublished price sensitive information that gets disclosed selectively, inadvertently or otherwise to make such information generally available and did not issue any clarification on the same as required under LODR Regulations.

Under the Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements rules, the listed entity may on its own initiative also confirm or deny any reported event or information to stock exchanges.

Accordingly, SEBI held them liable for the violation of the provisions of principles of fair disclosure for purposes of the code of practices and procedures for Fair Disclosure of UPSI under LODR Regulations. PTI

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