Supreme Court upholds appointment of UK Sinha as Sebi chief

The Supreme Court today upheld the appointment of UK Sinha as the chief of Securities and Exchange Board of India, dismissing a public interest petition challenging his appointment as the chief of the market regulator.

The apex court observed that there was no merit in the petition, which alleged irregularities in his appointment as Sebi chief.

Sinha had served as the joint secretary (Banking) and head of UTI Asset Management Company before he took over as Sebi chief in February 2011.

The Bangalore-based petitioner, Arun Aggarwal had called for a CBI probe into his appointment.

The court issued a notice to Omita Pal, officer on special duty to the then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, at the time.  The government had contended that the Cabinet Committee on Appointment, headed by the prime minister, had appointed the Sebi chairman and Omita Pal was not involved in it.

Upholding the appointment, the apex court bench of Justice SS Nijjar and Justice HL Gokhale said the appointment was made in a fair manner and conformed to procedure.

According to Aggarwal, Sinha failed to fulfill one of the eligibility conditions as laid down in Sub-section (5) of Section 4 of the SEBI Act as well as also in the government communication which required that the chairman shall be a person of high integrity.