38.6c New Delhi, India, Sunday, April 21, 2024

SEBI penalizes individual for releasing price sensitive information: WhatsApp Leak Case

By Saumya Srivastava      17 June, 2020 04:20 PM      0 Comments
SEBI penalizes individual for releasing price sensitive information: WhatsApp Leak Case

On Monday (June 15, 2020), market regulator SEBI penalized an individual after he was found guilty of releasing unpublished price sensitive information related to financial results of Asian Paints through WhatsApp messages before the official announcement by the company.

A penalty of ₹ 15 lakh has been imposed on the said individual - Neeraj Kumar Agarwal.

A few news reports referred to the circulation of Unpublished Price Sensitive Information (UPSI) in various private WhatsApp groups about some companies before their official announcements to the respective stock exchanges.

Regarding this, SEBI had initiated a preliminary examination during which search and seizure operation against 26 entities of a WhatsApp group were conducted, and around 190 devices and records, among others, were seized.

The chats extracted from seized devices were examined further and it was found that earning data and other financial details of about 12 companies were leaked through WhatsApp.

Asian Paints was one of the firms whose quarterly financial reports closely matched with the messages in the WhatsApp chats. 

An investigation was carried out regarding the matter of circulation of UPSI through WhatsApp messages related to Asian Paints to ascertain any possible violation of the PIT (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations in March-May 2017.

In the probe conducted by SEBI, it was found that Agarwal communicated the UPSI related to total income, EBITDA, and profit after tax of Asian Paints for the quarter ending March 2017 through WhatsApp messages.

The financial figures of Asian Paints that were circulated through WhatsApp closely matched with those subsequently revealed to the exchanges by the company.

SEBI in its 36-page order said, “The noticee (Agarwal), being an insider, had communicated the UPSI relating to Asian Paints Ltd, to another person through WhatsApp messages, which is in violation of the provisions of SEBI (PIT) Regulations, 2015, for which the noticee is liable for monetary penalty.”

Any person having possession of UPSI is regarded as an insider, according to the PIT norms.

Shruti Vora, who had been working in the institutional team at Antique Stock Broking Ltd from September 2008, was also penalized by SEBI for releasing UPSI related to financial results of Asian Paints through WhatsApp messages.

Earlier, persons involved in communicating financial results of Bajaj Auto, Ambuja Cement, Wipro, and Mindtree through WhatsApp messages before their official announcements had also been penalized by the regulator.

Share this article:

Leave a feedback about this

Trending Judiciary
SC orders medical examination of 14-yr-old rape survivor seeking to terminate her 28-week pregnancy

Supreme Court orders medical examination of 14-year-old rape survivor seeking termination of 28-week pregnancy. Decision to be made after evaluating impact on her health.

20 April, 2024 11:00 AM


Trending Legal Insiders
Need to safeguard judiciary from unwarranted pressures: 21 ex-judges write letter to CJI

21 ex-judges write to CJI Chandrachud urging protection of judiciary from pressures undermining its integrity and autonomy.

15 April, 2024 12:17 PM
Trending Judiciary
SC notice to ED; declines early date on plea by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal against arrest

SC issues notice to ED, declines early hearing on Delhi CM Kejriwal's plea against arrest in liquor scam.

15 April, 2024 03:08 PM
Trending Law School
Call For Chapters: Gender-Based Violence and Religion

Calling For Book Chapters: As an editor, Dr. Amit Anand, Assistant Professor, School of Legal Studies, REVA University, Bengaluru, is inviting people to contribute to a book, entitled "Gender-Based Violence and Religion." This book is scheduled to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

15 April, 2024 04:21 PM
Trending Top Stories
Cannot stop any public rally, Bombay HC on allegation that Ram Navami processions deliberately pass through Muslim-majority areas

The Bombay High Court calls upon the Maharashtra Police to ensure that no law and order issues occur during a Ram Navami rally in a Muslim-majority area in Mumbai.

15 April, 2024 06:36 PM


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email