As many as 94 fresh cases pertaining to flouting of securities norms were taken up for investigation by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in 2020-21, marking a decline of 42 per cent from the preceding financial year, as per the regulator's latest annual report.
The cases were related to alleged violation of securities law including market manipulation and price rigging.
"During 2020-21, 94 new cases were taken up for investigation and 140 cases completed in comparison to 161 new cases taken up and 170 cases completed in 2019-20," the report noted.
Sebi said 43.6 per cent of the total cases taken up for investigation during 2020-21 were related to market manipulation and price rigging.
Besides, insider trading and takeover violations accounted for 31 per cent and over 3 per cent of the total cases, respectively. Over 21 per cent were related to other violations of securities laws.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) initiates investigation based on reference received from sources such as its integrated surveillance department, other operational departments and external government agencies.
"The purpose of the investigation is to gather evidence and to identify persons/ entities behind irregularities and violations so that appropriate and suitable regulatory action can be taken, wherever required," the regulator noted in its annual report for 2020-21.
The steps involved during investigation process include an analysis of market data like order and trade log, transaction statements and exchange report.
Among others, Sebi also analysed bank records like account statements and KYC details, information about a firm, call data records and information obtained from market intermediaries during the investigation process.
After completion of an investigation, the watchdog said, penal action was initiated wherever violations of securities laws and obligations relating to securities market were observed.
During 2020-21, the regulator initiated enforcement action in 225 cases, while it disposed of 125 cases. At the end of March 2021, 476 cases were pending for action.