Markets regulator Sebi on Thursday banned three individuals from accessing the securities market for acting as portfolio managers without obtaining requisite registration.
While Raghu Raj Puri and Deeksha Puri face a ban of two years each, Shivraj Puri has been barred for three years.
Sebi in an order said, "It is glaringly clear that all these three noticees have together acted as portfolio managers without obtaining a certificate of registration from Sebi. Thus... the noticees no. 1, 2 and 3 have acted in gross violation of provisions of Regulation 3 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Portfolio Managers) Regulations."
The probe found that Shivraj Puri while working as a relationship manager with Citibank had offered fabricated investment schemes with guaranteed high returns to customers and obtained their signatures on bank fund transfer forms and used those funds to make demand drafts favouring various stockbrokers for making investment in the securities market.
For this, he forged a letter misrepresenting it as if issued by Sebi to Citibank recognising certain individuals as custodians of their bank accounts so as to mislead the customers.
Besides, Raghu Raj Puri and Deeksha Puri were consciously and connivingly allowing Shivraj Puri to conduct his unauthorised portfolio management service activities by utilising their bank accounts and the power of attorney issued by them in his favour.
Sebi further said "the fraudulent manner in which the noticees have misled the high networth bank customers to transfer their funds to them by misrepresenting to them that the noticee is operating a Sebi- approved investment scheme, is highly deplorable and is nothing but a broad day-light cheating of such innocent clients."
Accordingly, the individuals have been barred from the securities market.
In a separate order, Sebi levied a total fine of Rs 13 lakh on seven individuals for carrying out fraudulent trading in the scrip of Kausambi Vanijya Ltd, now known as Golden Bull Research and Growth Ltd.
Sebi during the probe found that the individuals by trading among themselves manipulated the price of the scrip which contributed to the price rise.
They were found to have violated the Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices norms.
Subsequently, fines between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 3 lakh have been imposed on the individuals.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)