HomeBUSINESSSC asks Sebi to give RIL access to documents

SC asks Sebi to give RIL access to documents

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The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to give Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) access to certain relevant documents that were relied upon by the regulator in a probe concerning acquisition of RIL shares between 1994 and 2000.

A bench led by chief justice N.V. Ramana said “Sebi as a regulator has a duty to act fairly. It is not to circumvent rule of law and has to show fairness. We allow this petition and direct Sebi to furnish the document sought by Reliance Industries”.

“It is disputed whether or not the appellant in this case was given access to specific portions of Justice B. N. Srikrishna’s opinion. The claim of the appellant is that while the portions that were made public only hinted at the appellant’s guilt, Sebi is withholding the details that would clear it. Such selective application by Sebi merely undermines the commitment to a fair trial”, Ramana said. RIL had earlier petitioned the Bombay High Court seeking access to the documents. Subsequently, in April, it moved the top court after the petition was rejected.

As per the top court order, Sebi had initiated a probe after receiving a complaint from S. Gurumurthy on 21 January 2002 against RIL, its associate companies and directors, alleging that they fraudulently alloted 120 million equity shares of RIL to entities purportedly connected with promoters of RIL, which were funded by the company and other group entities.

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