Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has begun its arguments before the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) against a 2017 Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) order barring it from the equity derivative markets, claiming it had done nothing wrong.
Incidentally, the SEBI had barred Reliance and 12 of its promoter group entities from dealing in equity derivatives in 2017. It had barred the company and its entities for alleged unfair trade practices related to the securities market.
A SEBI order issued on March 24, 2017, had also directed Reliance to disgorge Rs 447 crore along with interest.
Senior counsel Harish Salve who appeared on behalf of Harish Salve stated that there is nothing in the law which would prevent Reliance from undertaking transactions for which action was taken against it by the SEBI.
According to Salve, the real question is whether the transactions were a part of a market manipulation strategy.
The case dates back to March 2007, when the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited decided to sell 5% of its stake in Reliance Petroleum, a listed subsidiary which was later merged with RIL in 2009.
The SEBI ruling was related to alleged fraudulent trading in the derivatives space in the securities of Reliance Petroleum.