The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has imposed a fine on Reliance Industries Ltd, its Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani as well as two other entities for alleged manipulative trading in the shares of erstwhile Reliance Petroleum Ltd (RPL) back in November 2007.
Fines of Rs 25 crore and Rs 15 crore have been imposed on Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Ambani, respectively. Besides, Navi Mumbai SEZ Pvt Ltd has been asked to pay a penalty of Rs 20 crore and Mumbai SEZ Ltd has been directed to pay Rs 10 crore.
The case pertains to sale and purchase of RPL shares in the cash and the futures segments in November 2007. This followed RIL's decision in March 2007 to sell 4.1 per cent stake in RPL, a listed subsidiary that was later merged with RIL in 2009.
The SEBI said any manipulation in the volume or price of securities always erodes investor confidence in the market when investors find themselves at the receiving end of market manipulators.
"In the instant case, the general investors were not aware that the entity behind the above F&O segment transactions was RIL. The execution of the... fraudulent trades affected the price of the RPL securities in both cash and F&O segments and harmed the interests of other investors," said the order.