SEBI settlement proceedings

Press release issued by SEBI on 19th November, 2014

SEBI (Settlement of Administrative and Civil Proceedings) Regulations, 2014 (Regulations) enables settlement of administrative and civil proceedings under the SEBI Act, 1992, the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 and

the Depositories Act, 1996. As per the extant practice, settlement of administrative and civil proceedings commences generally after issuance of a formal show cause notice. However, this does not bar any person from suo motu approaching SEBI for settlement, if he is aware of the probable SEBI action. The relevant provisions of the securities laws, i.e., section 15JB of SEBI Act, section 23JA of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 and section 19-IA of the Depositories Act, 1996 and corresponding regulation 3 of the Regulations entitle a person to approach SEBI even before the initiation of the enforcement proceedings:

This being so, it is noted that the extant practice of providing the first opportunity to settle administrative and civil proceedings only post show cause notice stage results in delay in conclusion of proceedings and resultant wastage of resources. SEBI, has, therefore, decided that in minor violations intimation will be sent about the impending enforcement action to the concerned parties upon approval of the said actions by the competent authority and before a show cause notice is issued. This would enable parties to seek settlement of proceedings or make voluntary submissions even prior to receipt of a detailed show cause notice. If any party avails such an opportunity to respond to such a notice, the proposed proceedings may be settled(unless rejected) or discontinued on the basis of the submissions of the noticee (if any).

The notice of impending enforcement proceedings which will be treated as a show cause notice under regulation 4 of the Regulations, contain the charges and relevant extracts of findings of investigation/inspection. Such notices would only cover minor violations specified under Chapter VI and Column 2 of Table XII of Chapter VII of Schedule II of the Regulations. In these cases, procedure for settlement as specified in the Regulations will be followed.

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