Capital markets regulator Sebi on Thursday slapped a fine totalling Rs 5 lakh on four individuals for indulging in manipulation of the share price of Viaan Industries Limited.
Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra and his husband Raj Kundra are the promoters of Viaan Industries Limited (VIL).
In its order, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) imposed a total penalty of Rs 5 lakh on the noticees -- Heena Mukesh Tolia, Bharati Vilesh Dalal, Manoj Mangesh Powar and Jatin Chandra Barua -- which needs to be paid jointly and severally by them.
The regulator found that these individuals were acting in concert under a scheme, and were instrumental in artificially inflating and manipulating the price of the scrip of Viaan Industries (formerly known as Hindustan Safety Glass Industries Limited) during the investigation period of September, 2013 to December, 2015.
Sebi noted that Tolia and Dalal repeatedly placed buy orders in the scrip of VIL at higher price than the prevailing price in the illiquid scrip of VIL and the sell clients -- Powar and Barua -- repeatedly placed the sell orders for miniscule quantity even though higher buy quantity orders were available.
Also, Powar and Barua were not acting as genuine sellers and had no bona fide intention to sell shares, yet, they were major counterparty sellers of the two buyers -- Tolia and Dalal -- whose trades were instrumental in contributing to a significant increase in the LTP of the scrip of VIL.
"Therefore, it can be concluded that the Noticees had manipulated the price of the scrip of VIL and created a misleading appearance of trading in the scrip," Sebi said.
Through such acts, they violated the provisions of PFUTP (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade practices) norms, it added.
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