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Government takes note of SEBI letter on RIL share issue news
22 December 2009

The government would take "seriously" a letter from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for appropriate action against Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) for alleged routing of funds to dummy companies for buying its own shares in 2000, reports quoting minister for corporate affairs Salman Khurshid said today.

An `ET Now' report, meanwhile, said the Registrar of Companies (RoC) was expected to probe the matter related to purchase of shares in RIL by a group of privately-owned promoter companies in 2000, allegedly using its own funds.

"The government does not want to anticipate anything. If SEBI has taken nine years, let us take at least nine days," the minister said.

However, this should not be used for vendetta by anybody, he warned. He also said his ministry will not work under pressure from somebody.

"If anybody tries to do post mortem by digging old graves, then we will rather focus on the work forward than engage in post mortem," Khurshid said, adding that RIL had been demerged since then.

The SEBI communication to the ministry earlier this month, followed a probe on a complaint by S Gurumurthy of Swadeshi Jagran Manch alleging that RIL and its investors lost at least Rs2,700 crore in issuance of shares at a much lower price than what was allocated to the state-owned UTI.

The market regulator had sought the opinion of retired Supreme Court Justice BN Srikrishna on its own investigation report before asking the ministry of corporate affairs to take "appropriate action" against RIL for sale of 12 crore shares, representing over 11 per cent of total equity, through this route.

Dhirubhai was at the helm of affairs at the time of the share purchase case and the Reliance group was divided as part of a settlement between the Ambani brothers - Mukesh and Anil in 2005.

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Government takes note of SEBI letter on RIL share issue