Bharti Infratel IPO: PIL alleges 'the very foundation of the IPO is fraudulent'

Bharti Infratel

The Delhi High Court today declined to grant a stay on the initial public offering (IPO) of Bharti Infratel Ltd (BIL) on a PIL alleging that "the very foundation of this IPO is fraudulent."

The court, however, asked Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to produce the records relating to its approval to the company for launching the IPO to see whether the company had complied with SEBI regulations while seeking the approval or not.

"We are not issuing notice, we are not saying anything and not passing any order. We will see the records to satisfy ourselves," the bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

The bench passed the order after SEBI's counsel Parag Tripathi volunteered to submit the records before the court while countering the petitioner's allegation that SEBI has overlooked the litigations against the company over the issue of its merger/de-merger with Bharti Airtel Ltd, pending in various forums.

The counsel argued that the market regulator had already examined all the issues while granting approval to BIL.

Appearing for Bharti Infratel, senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul submitted that details about pending litigations were there in the draft Red Herring Prospectus and after examining it, SEBI had pointed out certain deficiencies and the company had incorporated them while finalising the prospectus.

Kaul argued that petitioner Manish Lamba, an investor, has already approached different forums on the issue seeking same relief and this court should not entertain his plea.

The petitioner's counsel Sarat Chandra alleged that the prospectus for IPO is of 700 pages and the investor cannot read the bulky prospectus to know the risk factor involved in it.

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