SEBI Slaps Rs3 Lakh Penalty on Intensive Fiscal Services and its CMD DK Surana
Moneylife Digital Team 17 April 2024
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs3 lakh on Intensive Fiscal Services Pvt Ltd (IFSPL) and its chairman and managing director (CMD) and former compliance officer (CO) DK Surana for not possessing certification from the National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) Series IX Merchant Banking.
 
In an adjudication order issued, Barnali Mukherjee, adjudicating officer (AO) of SEBI, says, "I note that Mr Surana,was CO of IFSPL since 25 March  2013. Mr Surana was an associated person and he was required to obtain NISM Series IX Merchant Banking certification within two years from the date of the aforesaid notification, i.e. by 24 March 2015. However, admittedly, Mr Surana did not obtain the said certification at any point of time during his tenure as compliance officer, i.e. till. Therefore, I find that Mr Surana has violated the provisions of SEBI notification of CASM Regulations, 2007."
 
SEBI inspected the activities carried out by IFSPL as a merchant banker from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2023. It observed non-compliance with provisions of SEBI certification of associate person in the Securities Market Regulations (CASM Regulations) and SEBI merchant bankers regulations.
 
During the inspection period, Mr Surana and Susheela Dhirendra Surana (director) were the key managerial personnel (KMPs) of IFSPL. It was noted that neither of them possessed the required NISM Series IX Merchant Banking certification. Additionally, Mr Surana, serving as the CO, lacked the NISM-Series-III A: Securities Intermediaries Compliance (Non-Fund) Continuing Professional Education certificate.
 
These deficiencies led to allegations against Mr Surana for violating SEBI notifications. Furthermore, it was alleged that he failed to report his non-compliance to the board promptly.
 
The market regulator further mentioned that IFSPL, the employing entity, was accused of neglecting to ensure Mr Surana obtained the necessary certifications within the stipulated two years from the relevant notifications. This resulted in breaches of SEBI regulations and  merchant bankers regulations.
 
SEBI also observed that that with respect to IFSPL, both the KMPs, Mr Surana and Ms Surana were not possessing NISM Series IX Merchant Banking certification at any point of time during the inspection period.
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