Bombay High Court directs Schneider Electric President Systems to Approach SAT
The Bombay High Court (HC) has told Schneider Electric President Systems (Schneider) that it cannot bypass the Securities and Appellate Tribunal (SAT) and asked it to approach it first.
The HC was approached by Schneider for a review of a direction by market regulator Stock Exchange Board of India (SEBI) that asked the company to list on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) as demanded by its shareholders.
The Company submitted before the HC that they approached the Court against the SEBI's dictate as SAT had already formed its opinion earlier and it would be influenced by its past judgment.
The HC stated that the company's apprehensions were unfounded. It further added, "Considering the composition of SAT, which comprises three members, two of whom are former Judges (a Judge of the Supreme Court or a Judge of High Court for at least seven years), we do not think there is any basis in the apprehension that the remedy of the appeal may not be efficacious."
The Court directed that SAT should decide on the current appeal without being influenced by its earlier order, and further directed that observations made therein shall be treated as prima facie.
The SAT had observed in November 2019 that none of the authorities, including SEBI and the stock exchanges, had discharged "any of their responsibilities", including listing or monitoring the exit opportunity to shareholders of Schneider, which was listed on the Bengaluru and Pune Regional Stock Exchange (RSEs) that shut down.
The Company has failed according to the rules to list on the NSE and the shareholders of the company complained to SEBI that they did not get a proper exit route from the company. However, at that time the regulatory body did not pay any heed to the investor complaints.
SAT stated that the treatment of the case by SEBI and the exchanges made it wonder "if public shareholders of RSE-listed companies were children of a lesser God." It asked the SEBI to decide on the investor complaints against Schneider.
The regulatory body SEBI had approached the Top Court against the order of the SAT. It asked the SEBI to decide the case of merits.