Sebi penalty on Ajmera Asso set aside

The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) today set aside penalty of Rs 1 lakh imposed by Sebi on Ajmera Associates for allegedly violating stock broker norms in case of Advik Laboratories shares.

Setting aside the penalty, SAT observed that Sebi's own findings in the matter had revealed that Ajmera Associates was not guilty of creating false market or that it had indulged in any act detrimental to the investor's interest.

Further the findings has also not proven that Ajmera Associates had not maintained high standards of integrity and fairness as required under norms for code of conduct for stock brokers.

" ...we fail to understand what other skill, care and diligence was required to be exercised by the appellant (Ajmera Associates) in the conduct of its business as a stock broker," SAT said in its order today.

"Even if the client's trading in the scrip (of Advik Laboratories) were with the connected persons, that by itself, is not enough to say that the due diligence of required standard was not maintained," it added.

Sebi had alleged the entity of trading, along with other brokers, in the scrip of Advik Laboratories on behalf of its clients, synchronising their trades, creating artificial volumes and price rise enabling the promoter shareholders to offload their shares at a higher price.

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