Markets regulator Sebi on Wednesday restrained Indiabulls Ventures' former non-executive director and her husband from accessing the securities market for one year for conducting insider trading in the firm's shares.
In addition, they have also been barred from buying, selling or dealing in the securities of the Indiabulls Ventures Ltd (IVL) for three years.
The order follows an investigation conducted in the scrip of IVL between January 2017 and November 2017. The individuals have violated provisions of the Prohibition of Insider Trading norms, Sebi noted.
At the time of the violation, Pia Johnson, non-executive director of IVL, and her husband Mehul Johnson traded in the scrip of IVL when in possession of unpublished price-sensitive information (UPSI), Sebi said.
They had such information with respect to sale of India Land and Properties Ltd (ILPL) to Indiabulls Infrastructure Ltd (IIL) and investment of IIL in ILPL.
According to the order, ILPL was indirectly owned by IVL whereas IIL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd.
During the UPSI period, between January 24, 2017, and March 14, 2017, Pia traded 5.5 lakh shares while Mehul traded over 3.38 lakh shares, making collectively alleged gains of Rs 69.09 lakh. As the gains were made in 2017, an annual 12 per cent interest was levied on the gains that makes the total amount Rs 87.21 lakh, Sebi noted.
In May 2019, Sebi, besides barring the individuals from accessing the markets till further orders, also ordered to impound Rs 87.21 lakh "jointly and severally" from Pia and Mehul and directed banks and depositories that no debits shall be made, without permission of the regulator.
The amount of over Rs 87.2 lakh, which was impounded, stands disgorged and shall be remitted to Investor Protection and Education Fund.