SAT stays Sebi ban on Future group promoters from securities market
19 February 2021
The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has stayed the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi’s) order restricting Future Group promoter Kishore Biyani and the other promoters of the group from accessing the securities market.
Sebi had barred Future Group promoters from accessing the securities market for alleged insider trading in the Future Retail (FRL) scrip.
The SAT order comes as a big relief to the Future Retail CEO, who is beng haunted by US online retailer Amazon over alleged violation of conditions of an agreement relating to the sale of its assets to Amazon Inc.
A Future Group statement said the appellate tribunal has stayed the "effect and operation" of Sebi's order accusing the Future Group promoters of insider trading in the context of purchases of Future Retail shares made in March 2017.
As per the company, the restructuring of the home furnishing businesses in the Future Group in the physical store format of Future Retail and online store format of Future Enterprises being demerged into a new company -- had been well known in the public since 2016.
Future Group counsel Somasekhar Sundaresan argued that the actual terms of the restructuring were initiated only in April 2017 while the purchases were made in March to avail of the acquisition limits under the takeover regulations.
SAT, however, directed Future Group promoters to deposit a sum of Rs11 crore as an interim measure. The case will now come up on 12 April 2021.
Earlier this month, capital market regulator Sebi barred Biyani, among others, from the securities market for a period of one year for alleged insider trading in the scrip of Future Retail (FRL).
Sebi had also barred Future Corporate Resources Private Limited (FCRPL), Kishore Biyani's brother Anil Biyani, Rajesh Pathak and Rajkumar Pande from accessing the securities market.
An investigation had found that some of the entities traded in shares of Future Retail on the basis of unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI) violating Sebi norms during the period between 10 March and 20 April 2017, the Sebi order stated.
Further, the notices were also restrained from buying, selling or dealing in the securities of Future Retail Limited (FRL), directly or indirectly, in any manner whatsoever, for a period of two years.
Sebi, in its order, had asked Future Corporate Resources, Kishore Biyani and Anil Biyani to jointly and severally disgorge an amount of over Rs 17.78 crore along with an interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from 29 April 2020 till the date of actual payment.
The regulator had said Biyani and his brother Anil had traded in shares of their Future Retail firm through a group company on the basis of unpublished price-sensitive information
Biyani is also embroiled in a legal battle with Amazon.com Inc over the sale of Future's retail assets to RIL