ICICI Securities Ltd has settled with markets regulator Sebi a case of alleged violation of stockbroker norms by paying over Rs 28 lakh towards settlement charges. While disposing of the case, Sebi said "the enforcement proceedings for the alleged default...are settled qua the applicant." The matter pertains to an investigation carried out by Sebi pursuant to appearance of news items alleging dematerialisation and selling of shares of dormant accounts using forged documents by certain entities.
The probe found that physical share certificates of certain scrips were fraudulently acquired in the names of 26 non-existing bogus entities and then dematted in fraudulently opened demat accounts of these entities having different addresses, but similar looking photographs at different points of time.
Out of these 26 non-existing bogus entities, two entities dealt through ICICI Securities Ltd. It was thus alleged that there was lack of diligence on part of ICICI Securities in dealing with them.
Pending adjudication proceedings, ICICI Securities filed a settlement application with the regulator "without admitting the findings of fact and conclusions of law."
Thereafter, Sebi's high-powered advisory committee recommended the case for settlement on payment of Rs 28.68 lakh. This was also approved by Sebi's panel of whole-time members, following which ICICI Securities remitted the amount.
Accordingly, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) disposed of the adjudication proceedings. However, it said that enforcement actions, including commencing or reopening of the proceedings, could be initiated if any representation made by it is found to be untrue.