SEBI penalises Jay Energy too late
Moneylife Digital Team 05 April 2012

SEBI realises too late that the company scammed its shareholders, a year after Moneylife published the story on Jay Energy and S Energies

Last year, Moneylife had written a piece on the alleged fraud in Jay Energy and S Energies (Jay Energy), where its shareholders were being ripped apart by the promoters. Well, it seems our prognosis was right all along, and the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has decided to take action, albeit too late, on Jay Energy. Last year’s piece can be accessed here: Retail investors in Jay Energy suffer loss due to continuing demat delay. It was alleged that the company and registrars repeatedly put off dematerialising shares on excuse of faulty master data, and not addressing investors’ concerns and complaints.

SEBI vide its adjudication order number  as/ao-01/2012 said, “Jay Energy and S Energies failed to redress investor grievances within the time specified and failed to provide Action Taken Report (ATR) in the format specified within the specified time. Considering the same along with the facts and circumstances of the case as well as the violation committed by the noticee, I am of the view that imposing a combined penalty of Rs45 lakh on Jay Energy and S. Energies.” Only that the order came too late, exactly a year after we published our story.

The reason for the fine was because Jay Energy had failed to resolve investor complaints, mostly related to share transfer. According to the order, 146 investor complaints were received, with 145 relating to share transfer.

The order recounted the saga (as we did a year ago) citing, “Immediately after revocation of suspension the scrip opened at Rs48 and reached a high point of Rs203.45 on 5 January 2011. Thereafter, the notice stock was split from face value of Rs10 to Rs2 per share with effect from 15 February 2011. It is also noted that the share price continued to decline thereafter to Rs5.48 (face value Rs2) on 10 March 2011. Taking the above into account, it is observed that investors have suffered a notional loss of around Rs87 lakh due to delay and non-resolution of investor complaints.” Despite investors suffering a “notional loss” of Rs87 lakh, SEBI fined the company only Rs45 lakh.

Most pertinent was the manner at which SEBI has handled this whole affair. It practically waited one year to take action against the company. The order said, “Perusal of the reply reveals that though the complaints of the investors were received from as far back as December 2010, no action was taken to resolve the complaints till April 2011. Further, a sample survey has revealed that several complainants have not yet had their complaints resolved even by November 2011 even though the company has claimed that all pending investor grievances have been resolved in the personal hearing granted on 21 June 2011.” Clearly, the company has been putting off resolving complaints. But what was SEBI doing all this while?

Further, SEBI said in its order, “Though, it is observed that the noticee (Jay Energy) has redressed some investor grievances, even though delayed, accordingly I feel it fit that this may be taken as an ameliorating factor to be considered for imposition of penalty upon the noticee and thus the present facts and circumstances would not merit imposition of the maximum penalty permissible by law.”

A total of 32 investors grievances have yet to be resolved. What are these investors going to do now? The fact that there are some grievances yet to be resolved shows SEBI’s leniency towards companies like Jay Energy.

Nagesh Kini FCA
1 decade ago
The words "notional loss" seem to catch on like an infection, applied across the board by all and sundry and now it has caught SEBI too. Despite large losses to many shareholders and as many of their grieviancies still pending resolution how was this figure of loss arrived at? It could be more.
The penalty to be levied on individual directors/promoters ought to on the scales levied in the US by SEC - they must be made to cough up in crores and imprisoned for not less 15 long years.
Our "notional" punishments of mere suspension and a few lakhs without any jail term are no deterrents to those criminal economic offenders. They just throw in the black money and are free to renew their nefarious activities of rigging the markets with renewed vigour.
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