Supreme Court stays SAT order wherein SEBI officer was summoned after accusing it of 'judicial dishonesty'

  • Aishwarya Iyer
  • 05:40 PM, 24 Jan 2022

The Supreme Court today stayed an order passed by the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) whereby it had directed the adjudicating officer of the Securities and Exchange Board of India to appear before it, while questioning SEBI's 12-year delay in starting the quasi-judicial process and sending a show-cause notice to Yatin Pandya. 

A Bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Ravindra Bhat has also stayed the SAT's direction that the said officer should file an affidavit explaining why he had dealt with the matter “casually”.

Earlier this month, SEBI had moved the Top Court against the SAT order dated December 16, 2021 whereby unwarranted adverse remarks were made by the tribunal, questioning SEBI's 12-year delay in starting the quasi-judicial process and sending a show-cause notice to Yatin Pandya. The Order has stated that the SEBI has been “dishonest”.

"Inspite of making a specific assertion, the Adjudicating Officer (“AO”) has dealt issue-1 in paragraph 12 in a very casual manner without dealing the contention raised by the appellant. Prima facie in our view this amounts to judicial dishonesty", the SAT had further noted in its impugned order.

In September last year, SEBI had passed an order whereby Pandya and 29 other entities were alleged to have traded among themselves to create a false and misleading impression of genuine trading in scrips of Sterling.

Pandya had thus filed an appeal in SAT against the SEBI order, citing the delay in starting the proceedings and passing the order.

SAT had then noted that SEBI's adjudicating officer had dealt with the matter “casually”.

In its plea before the top court SEBI, argued that the said order was erroneous, unsustainable in law, and exceeded the jurisdiction of the SAT. It was further submitted that the aggressive comments made by SAT were unwarranted and it had no powers to try the regulatory official.

Case Title: SEBI Vs. Yatin Pandya