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Last Updated : Jun 18, 2019 08:11 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Earnings leak on WhatsApp: SEBI in final stages of investigation

SEBI has found three officials of different broking firms who leaked information of quarterly results.

Tarun Sharma @talktotarun
 
 
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The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is in the final stages of investigation in the Whatsapp leak case with the market regulator  identifying three officials of a Mumbai-based broking firm for their alleged involvement.

Financial results of 12 companies, including Dr Reddy's, Cipla, HDFC Bank, Tata Steel, Wipro and Bajaj Finance, were said to have been leaked and circulated.

In November 2017, SEBI initiated probe after a media report surfaced with respect to circulation of unpublished price sensitive information in various private WhatsApp groups about few companies before their official announcements.

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SEBI had also conducted search and seizure operations at offices of broking firms and seized mobile phones and laptops.

"We are in the last stage of investigation we have already found officials who leaked information, which includes a lady. Now cross-checking is happening with companies," a source told Moneycontrol.

A lawyer who deals mostly in SEBI cases told Moneycontrol that if regulator found any officials with direct or indirect relationship with these brokers officials, then it will be the open and shut case.

The group Heard on Street, which closed after the crackdown, was run by a famous market trader and market analysts as well as journalists were part of that group.

After this WhatsApp leak action, one of the committees headed by TK Viswanathan, who was law secretary, recommended that "SEBI may seek direct power to intercept calls to aid in the investigation, akin to the power granted to the Central Board of Direct Taxes.However, proper checks and balances must be ensured for use of the power". As of now, the regulator is yet to get this power.

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First Published on Jun 18, 2019 05:52 pm
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