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Markets regulator SEBI has penalised an individual for his failure to comply with disclosure requirements while dealing with the shares of ITC Ltd.
An investigation was conducted by the regulator in the scrip of ITC from April to December 2018.
During the probe, SEBI observed that Victor Peter Christopher (noticee) is an employee of ITC since January 2, 2012, as 'Manager-Loss Prevention' with its hotels divisions and ITC had allotted Employee Stock Options to Victor.
Pursuant to this, he had exercised his options and he was allotted 15,970 shares by ITC on September 24, 2018, and subsequently, he sold these shares.
The value of said sale transaction of ITC shares exceeded Rs 10 lakh. Therefore, it was required to be disclosed under Prohibition of Insider Trading (PIT) norms but he made delayed disclosures.
The noticee had also traded in the scrip of ITC in the derivative segment and there were a total of 18 instances wherein he failed to disclose details of his transactions in time and made subsequent belated disclosures, SEBI noted.
Consequently, a fine of Rs 1 lakh has been imposed on him, as per an order passed on Thursday.
While imposing the fine, SEBI's Adjudicating Officer Prasanta Mahapatra said, "I note that the noticee, a decorated officer retired from Indian Army, being the recipient of Sena Medal and Shaurya Chakra on two separate occasions, has already faced a great deal of suffering due to his ignorance of law."
He added, "Therefore, I am of the view that the said penalty is commensurate with the violation on the part of the Noticee under the facts and circumstances of the present matter."
In a separate order passed on Thursday, the watchdog disposed of a case against ITC Ltd and its compliance officer -- Rajendra Singhi.
The case pertained to delayed disclosures with respect to the share sale transaction made by Victor.
It was alleged that Singhi being the compliance officer of ITC at the relevant time, has failed to monitor the trades of Victor and ensure compliance of the provisions of PIT Regulations.
A SEBI probe found that ITC, upon becoming aware of delay in disclosure of the sale transaction and the transactions in the derivatives segment, entered into by Victor has taken prompt action by imposing a total penalty of Rs 4.82 lakh on the said employee.
Therefore, no case has been made out against the company as well as Singhi, the regulator said .
Accordingly, SEBI disposed of the case against them.