Marquee stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala has faced huge embarrassment after markets regulator SEBI issued an order for "disgorgement of ill-gotten gains" to the tune of Rs 5.86 crore in an insider trading case of Aptech Ltd.
As per an order issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Aptech Ltd, after the market hours on September 7, 2016, made an announcement on the platform of the stock exchanges titled "Aptech Forays into Preschool Segment". The said information was considered as Unpublished Price Sensitive Information (UPSI) and the period of UPSI was March 14, 2016 to September 07, 2016.
"It is alleged that Utpal Seth and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala were in possession of the UPSI and communicated the same to the other applicants. On the basis of the UPSI, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Rekha Jhunjhunwala, Rajeshkumar Jhunjhunwala, Shushila Devi Gupta, Sudha Gupta and Ushma Seth Sule are alleged to have traded in the scrip of Aptech during the UPSI period," SEBI said.
Seven applicants filed separate settlement applications in terms of the SEBI (Settlement Proceedings) Regulations, 2018, proposing to settle, without admitting or denying the findings of fact and conclusions of law, through a settlement order, the pending enforcement proceedings initiated against the applicants vide show cause notice by SEBI.
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala's wife, Rekha Jhunjhunwala, faces disgorgement of Rs 1.06 crore. Rakesh Jhunjhunwala will have to pay Rs 9.50 crore as settlement amount plus interest of Rs 3.10 crore along with the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains.
The parties will have to pay Rs 37 crore to settle the case, which includes settlement charges, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and interest. The amount will be paid by 10 individuals along with Rakesh Jhunjhunwala.
SEBI said that it is hereby ordered that the pending enforcement proceedings for the alleged defaults are settled qua the applicants.
SEBI shall not initiate enforcement action against the applicants for the said defaults. This order disposes of the enforcement proceedings initiated by SEBI for the defaults in respect of the applicants and the passing of this order is without prejudice to the right of SEBI under Regulation 28 of the Settlement Regulations to take enforcement actions including continuing proceedings against the applicants, if SEBI finds that: a. any representation made by the applicants in the present settlement proceedings is subsequently found to be untrue; b. the applicants have breached any of the clauses/ conditions of undertakings/ waivers filed during the present settlement proceedings; and c. there was a discrepancy while arriving at the settlement terms.