Sebi fines Earnest Healthcare Rs 10L

Sebi today said it has slapped a fine of Rs 10 lakh on Earnest Healthcare for failing to redress investors' grievances and submit a status report as specified by the market regulator.

"...hereby impose a penalty of Rs 10 lakh on the noticee (Earnest Healthcare)...the penalty is commensurate with the default committed by the noticee," Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) said in its order.

The matter relates to way back in 2003, when Sebi through an order had prohibited the company from accessing capital markets for a period of five years for non redressal of investors' complaints. The debarment was completed in 2008.

The regulator in April last year had directed the firm to resolve 51 investor grievances pending against it within 15 days from the date of receipt of the letter and submit a

status report.

However, the company failed to redress the investor complaints within the specified time as well as submit the Action Taken Report (ATR) in the proforma prescribed by Sebi.

Thereafter, the regulator in October 2011 had advised Earnest Healthcare to submit ATR as per the proforma detailed in circular dated November 25, 2009 with respect to the complaints.

Sebi said the firm had submitted ATR but it was not as per the proforma prescribed by the regulator. Necessary documents required to treat the complaints as redressed were also not submitted, it added.

"The noticee failed to redress investor grievances and submit ATR as per the proforma specified by Sebi warranting imposition of monetary penalty," the regulator said today.

Noting the defaults of the company as repetitive in nature Sebi said the company did not even respond to the charges against it.

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