At, SEBI Securities amp Exchange Board of India Securities Appellate Tribunal
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE TARUN AGARWALA
By, PRESIDING OFFICER
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE M.T. JOSHI
By, JUDICIAL MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MS. MEERA SWARUP
By, TECHNICAL MEMBER
For the Appellant: Trushar Bhavsar, Advocate, A.P. Shukla, President of the Company, Prakash Shah, Advocate with CA Kushal Shah i/b Prakash Shah & Associates, Advocates. For the Respondent: Shyam Mehta, Senior Advocate, Mihir Mody, Mayur Jaisingh, i/b. K Ashar & Co., Advocates. For the Intervener: Melvyn Fernandes, Supriya Majumdar, Saurabhsai Ganesan, i/b Vaish Associates, Suraj Chaudhary, Mihir Mody, Arnav Misra, Mayur Jaisingh, i/b. K Ashar & Co., Advocates.
Tarun Agarwala, Presiding Officer
1. Even though different orders have been passed by the Whole Time Member (‘WTM’ for short) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (‘SEBI’ for short) against the commodity brokers, the facts and issue raised is common and, therefore, all the appeals are being decided together.
2. Eight appeals have been filed by eight different brokers whereby their applications for registration as a commodity broker under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Intermediaries) regulations, 2008 (‘Intermediaries Regulations’ for short) has been rejected on the ground that the appellant is not a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold a registration certificate. Even though National Spot Exchange Limited (‘NSEL’ for short) is not a party in these proceedings, nonetheless, five appeals have been filed against five orders praying that the ex parte observation / findings made against the NSEL in the impugned orders should be expunged. NSEL has also filed intervention applications in the appeals filed by the commodity brokers praying for the same reliefs.
3. We have heard Mr. Trushar Bhavsar, Mr. Prakash Shah, Mr. Kunal Katariya and Mr. Melvyn Fernandes, the learned counsel for the appellant in respective appeals and Mr. Shyam Mehta, the learned senior counsel, Mr. Suraj Chaudhary, Mr. Mihir Mody, Mr. Arnav Misra and Mr. Mayur Jaisingh, the learned counsel for the respondent.
4. Upon hearing the learned counsel for the parties, we find that the controversy involved in the present appeals is squarely covered by a decision of this Tribunal dated June 9, 2022 passed in Geofin Comtrade Ltd. vs Securities and Exchange Board of India, Appeal no. 214 of 2019 and other connected companion appeals.
5. Thus, for the reasons stated in our order dated June 9, 2022 in Appeal no. 214 of 2022 and other connected companion appeals, the impugned orders passed by the WTM against the brokers / appellants in the present appeals cannot be sustained and are quashed. The appeals of the brokers are allowed. The matters are remitted to the WTM to decide the matter afresh in the light of the observation made in our order dated June 9, 2022 in accordance with law after giving an opportunity of hearing to the brokers. All issues raised by the brokers will remain open for them to be raised before the WTM. The appeals of NSEL are also allowed. The adverse observations / findings against NSEL in the impugned orders are expunged and will not be utilized against NSEL in any court of law of before any authority. All the miscellaneous applications are accordingly disposed of.
6. In the circumstances of the case, parties shall b
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ear their own costs. 7. This order will be digitally signed by the Private Secretary on behalf of the bench and all concerned parties are directed to act on the digitally signed copy of this order. Certified copy of this order is also available from the Registry on payment of usual charges.