In a meeting held on Monday, members of the SEBI Board finally decided to publish the series of final orders passed by its own two-member committee in relation to its investigation of the 2005 IPO scam.
In a previously held meeting, the Board had come to the conclusion that the concerned findings against the Board are outside the confines of delegation and therefore, without the authority of law. The said committee had entered findings that the Board failed as a regulator, while disposing of two matters relating to IPO irregularities and DSQ Software Ltd. These findings, which vitiated these two orders, cannot be severed from the rest of the orders and hence these orders are null and void and are non-est. A claim of non-est factum means that the signature on the contract was signed by mistake, without knowledge of its meaning, but was not done so negligently.
In today’s meeting, the Board decided to confirm the findings of the previous meeting. The board has declared the two orders as non-est. However, in a new twist, it has decided to make public the two orders apparently in the interest of greater transparency. It also decided that the Board as a whole (excluding chairman Mr Bhave) would dispose of these two matters afresh.
The Board's previous stance of suppressing the controversial order prepared by the two-member committee comprising Dr Mohan Gopal and V Leeladhar, had drawn the ire of aggrieved investors, with a couple of PILs already doing the rounds in the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
Attorney General Ghoolam Vahanvati, who is appearing for SEBI with regard to the PIL filed by a petitioner Srinivas Podichety, had earlier told the Andhra Pradesh High Court that a decision from the SEBI Board on this issue could be expected on Monday. –Sanket Dhanorkar [email protected]