Mukesh Ambani, chairman, Reliance Industries (RIL), India’s largest corporate house, has now been accused of manipulative trading in the shares of erstwhile Reliance Petroleum Ltd (RPL) back in November 2007. SEBI on Friday imposed a penalty of ₹25 crore on RIL and ₹15 crore Ambani, respectively.
RIL is likely to challenge SEBI’s order in SAT, sources told Business Line. SEBI also fined another company Navi Mumbai SEZ Pvt Ltd ₹20 crore and Mumbai SEZ Ltd ₹10 crore on same charges.
The case pertains to sale and purchase of RPL shares in the cash and the futures segments in November 2007. This followed RIL decision in March 2007 to sell 4.1 per cent stake in RPL, a listed subsidiary, which was merged with RIL in 2009.
According to SEBI’s adjudicating officer B J Dilip “any manipulation in the volume or price of securities always erodes investor confidence in the market when investors find themselves at the receiving end of market manipulators.”
“In the instant case, the general investors were not aware that the entity behind the above F&O segment transactions was RIL. The execution of the… fraudulent trades affected the price of the RPL securities in both cash and F&O segments and harmed the interests of other investors,” he said in the order.
In the view of the SEBI officer, “acts of manipulation have to be dealt sternly so as to dissuade manipulative activities in the capital markets.”
Earlier, SEBI had ordered RIL and other related entities to disgorge over ₹447 crore in the RPL case. In November 2020, the Securities Appellate Tribunal dismissed the company”s appeal against the order.
RIL has said it would challenge the tribunal”s order in the Supreme Court.