In a landmark case, the Securities Appellate Tribunal has set aside SEBI’s insider trading charges against a few individuals who forwarded WhatsApp messages allegedly containing unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI). SEBI, or the Securities & Exchange Board of India, had earlier penalised Shruti Vora from Antique Stock Broking Ltd. with Rs 15 lakh for each violation for “leaking” UPSI of half a dozen companies. In November 2017, several publications reported that the unpublished quarterly financial results of some companies were doing the rounds on WhatsApp. SEBI had then initiated a probe, seizing nearly 200 devices and records, finding from(from WhatsApp chats) that unpublished results of Bajaj Auto, Bata India, Ambuja Cements, Asian Paints, Wipro, and Mindtree were being circulated. Under SEBI’s insider trading regulations, sharing of UPSI before companies release their financial results amounts to insider trading. Apart from Vora,…
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