Mumbai: Upholding the regulatory powers of the
Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the Bombay
High Court has said that the orders passed by the market
watchdog, which do not affect the rights of the parties
and which are in the nature of procedural orders, cannot
be challenged either in the Securities Appellate Tribunal
or even at the high court, under Section 15 Z of the Sebi
order was in response to an appeal made by H N Bajaj and
Rahul H Bajaj before the high court against a SAT order
rejecting their appeal for inspection of the documents
in the Amara Raja Batteries case.
Bajaj duo had demanded access to documents to prove that
the charges leveled against them by way of show-cause
notices of price manipulation and creation of an artificial
market in the Amara Raja scrip, were not correct.
appellants' argument was that Section 15 Z of the Sebi
Act created a wide and broad appellate jurisdiction and
every kind of judicial order could be challenged in appeal.
They pointed out that Section 15 Z of the Sebi Act says
that "any person aggrieved by any decision or order
of the SAT may file an appeal in the high court within
60 days from the date of communication of the order of
SAT to him on any question of fact or law arising out
of such order". In effect, Section 15 Z provides
an appeal to the high court against the decision or order
passing the instant order, the two-member division bench
of justices A P Shah and S A Bonde observed, "It
is difficult to accept the submission of the appellants
that each and every order made by the appellate tribunal
is intended to be subjected to appeal under Section 15
importantly, it said, "mere procedural orders are
not orders which can be taken up and challenged under
Section 15 Z of the Act".
high court, in effect, has struck down the appeal made
by the appellants as being not maintainable, and held
that any interlocutory order passed by Sebi which does
not affect the rights of the parties cannot be challenged
either before SAT or before the high court.