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Section 11 – Securities Laws (Amendment) Act,2004

Securities Laws (Amendment) Act,2004

Section 11. Insertion of new Sections 23-A to 23-O

After Section 23 of the principal Act, the following sections shall be inserted, namely:-

“23-A. Penalty for failure to furnish information, return, etc.-Any person, who is required under this Act or any rules made thereunder,-

(a) to furnish any information, document, books, returns or report to a recognised stock exchange, fails to furnish the same within the time specified therefor in the listing agreement or conditions or bye-laws of the recognised stock exchange, shall be liable to a penalty of one lakh rupees for each day during which such failure continues or one crore rupees, whichever is less for each such failure;

(b) to maintain books of account or records, as per the listing agreement or conditions, or bye-laws of a recognised stock exchange, fails to maintain the same, shall be liable to a penalty of one lakh rupees for each day during which such failure continues or one crore rupees, whichever is less.

23-B. Penalty for failure by any person to enter into an agreement with clients.-If any person, who is required under this Act or any bye-laws of a recognised stock exchange made thereunder, to enter into an agreement with his client, fails to enter into such an agreement, he shall be liable to a penalty of one lakh rupees for each day during which such failure continues or one crore rupees, whichever is less for every such failure.

23-C. Penalty for failure to redress Investors’ grievances.-If any stockbroker or sub-broker or a company whose securities are listed or proposed to be listed in a recognised stock exchange, after having been called upon by the Securities and Exchange Board of India or a recognised stock exchange in writing, to redress the grievances of the investors, fails to redress such grievances within the time stipulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India or a recognised stock exchange, he or it shall be liable to a penalty of one lakh rupees for each day during which such failure continues or one crore rupees, whichever is less.

23-D. Penalty for failure to segregate securities or moneys of client or clients.–If any person, who is registered under Section 12 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act,1992 (15 of 3992) as a stockbroker or sub-broker, fails to segregate securities or moneys of the client or clients or uses the securities or moneys of a client or clients for self or for any other client, he shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding one crore rupees.

23-E. Penalty for failure to comply with listing conditions or delisting conditions or grounds.-If a company or any person managing collective investment scheme or mutual fund, fails to comply with the listing conditions or delisting conditions or grounds or commits a breach thereof, it or he shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding twenty-five crore rupees.

23-F. Penalty for excess dematerialisation or delivery of unlisted securities.-If any issuer dematerialises securities more than the issued securities of a company or delivers in the stock exchanges the securities which are not listed in the recognised stock exchange or delivers securities where no trading permission has been given by the recognised stock exchange, he shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding twenty-five crore rupees.

23-G. Penalty for failure to furnish periodical returns, etc.-If a recognised stock exchange fails or neglects to furnish periodical returns to the Securities and Exchange Board of India or fails or neglects to make or amend its rules or bye-laws as directed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India or fails to comply with directions issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India, such recognised stock exchange shall be liable to a penalty which may extend to twenty-five crore rupees.

23-H. Penalty for contravention wher e no separate penalty has been provided.-Whoever fails to comply with any provision of this Act, the rules or articles or bye-laws or the regulations of the recognised stock exchange or directions issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India for which no separate penalty has been provided, shall be j liable to a penalty which may extend to one crore rupees. ;

23-I. Power to adjudicate.-(1) For the purpose of adjudging under Sections 23-A,23-B,23-C,23-D,23-E,23-F,23-G and 23-H, the Securities and Exchange Board of India shall appoint any officer not below the rank of a Division Chief of the Securities and Exchange Board of India to be an adjudicating officer for holding an inquiry in the prescribed manner after giving any person concerned a reasonable opportunity of being heard for the purpose of imposing any penalty.

(2) While holding an inquiry, the adjudicating officer shall have power to summon and enforce the attendance of any person acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case to give evidence or to produce any document, which in the opinion of the adjudicating officer, may be useful for or relevant to the subject-matter of the inquiry and if, on such inquiry, he is satisfied that the person has failed to comply with the provisions of any of the sections specified in sub-section (1), he may impose such ‘ penalty as he thinks fit in accordance with the provisions of any of those sections.

23-J. Factors to be taken into account by adjudicating officer.-While adjudging the quantum of penalty under Section 23-I, the adjudicating officer shall have due regard to the following factors, namely:-

(a) the amount of disproportionate gain or unfair advantage, wherever quantifiable, made as a result of the default;

(b) the amount of loss caused to an investor or group of investors as a result of the default;

(c) the repetitive nature of the default.

23-K. Crediting sums realised by way of penalties to Consolidated Fund of India.- All sums realised by way of penalties under this Act shall be credited to the Consolidated Fund of India.

23-L. Appeal to Securities Appellate Tribunal.-(1) Any person aggrieved, by the order or decision of the recognised stock exchange or the adjudicating officer or any order made by the Securities and Exchange Board of India under Section 4-B, may prefer an appeal before the Securities Appellate Tribunal and the provisions of Sections 22-B,22-C,22-D and 22-E of this Act, shall apply, as far as may be, to such appeals.

(2) Every appeal under sub-section (1) shall be filed within a period of forty-five days from the date on which a copy of the order or decision is received by the appellant and it shall be in such form and be accompanied by such fee as may be prescribed :

Provided that the Securities Appellate Tribunal may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of forty-five days if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period.

(3) On receipt of an appeal under sub-section (1), the Securities Appellate Tribunal may, after giving the parties to the appeal, an opportunity of being heard, pass such orders thereon as it thinks fit, confirming, modifying or setting aside the order appealed against.

(4) The Securities Appellate Tribunal shall send a copy of every order made by it to the parties to the appeal and to the concerned adjudicating officer.

(5) The appeal filed before the Securities Appellate Tribunal under sub-section (1) shall be dealt with by it as expeditiously as possible and endeavour shall be made by it to dispose of the appeal finally within six months from the date of receipt of the appeal.

23-M. Offences.-(1) Without prejudice to any award of penalty by the adjudicating officer under this Act, if any person contravenes or attempts to contravene or abets the contravention of the provisions of this Act or of any rules or regulations or b
ye-laws made there under, for which no punishment is provided elsewhere in this Act, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, which may extend to twenty-five crore rupees or with both.

(2) If any person fails to pay the penalty imposed by the adjudicating officer or fails to comply with any of his directions or orders, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one month but which may extend to ten years, or with fine, which may extend to twenty-five crore rupees, or with both.

23-N. Composition of certain offences.-Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973 (2 of 1974), any offence punishable under this Act, not being an offence punishable with imprisonment only, or with imprisonment and also with fine, may either before or after the institution of any proceeding, be compounded by a Securities Appellate Tribunal or a court before which such proceedings are pending.

23-O. Power to grant immunity.-(1) The Central Government may, on recommendation by the Securities and Exchange Board of India, if the Central Government is satisfied, that any person, who is alleged to have violated any of the provisions of this Act or the rules or the regulations made thereunder, has made a full and true disclosure in respect of alleged violation, grant to such person, subject to such conditions as it may think fit to impose, immunity from prosecution for any offence under this Act, or the rules or the regulations made thereunder or also from the imposition of any penalty under this Act with respect to the alleged violation :

Provided that no such immunity shall be granted by the Central Government in cases where the proceedings for the prosecution for any such offence have been instituted before the date of receipt of application for grant of such immunity :

Provided further that the recommendation of the Securities and Exchange Board of India under this sub-section shall not be binding upon the Central Government.

(2) An immunity granted to a person under sub-section (1) may, at any time, be withdrawn by the Central Government, if it is satisfied that such person had, in the course of the proceedings, not complied with the condition on which the immunity was granted or had given false evidence, and thereupon such person may be tried for the offence with respect to which the immunity was granted or for any other offence of which he appears to have been guilty in connection with the contravention and shall also become liable to the imposition of any penalty under this Act to which such person would have been liable, had not such immunity been granted.”.

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