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Santhimadam Plantations & Agro Products Ltd., v/s Securities & Exchange Board of India & Ors.

    Appeal No.52/2003
    Decided On, 25 October 2005
    At, SEBI Securities Exchange Board of India Securities Appellate Tribunal
    By, MEMBER
    By, R. N. BHARDWAJ
    By, MEMBER
    Appellant – Represented by Mr. Sounder Rajan, Advocate. Respondent – Represented by Mr. Subhash Jha, Advocate.

Judgment Text
Per: Justice Kumar Rajaratnam, Presiding Officer.

1. The appeal is taken up for final disposal with the consent of both parties.

2. The appellant challenges the order passed by the Respondent on 2/7/2001 debarring the appellant from accessing the securities market for a period of 5 years. The impugned order refers to the appellant’s failure to comply with the directions issued by the Respondent on 7/12/2000 under Section 11B of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 read with Regulation 65 and 73 of the SEBI (Collective Investment Scheme) Regulations, 1999 to wind up the appellant’s existing Collective Investment Schemes and make payments in accordance with the provisions of SEBI (Collective Investment Scheme) Regulations. 1999.

3. Shri Sounder Rajan, learned senior counsel for the appellant has filed an affidavit explaining that the transactions entered into by the appellant were on the basis of sale deeds with respect to pieces of land and the land was divested to the purchasers and the investors are in total possession of the lands that are sold to them. However, certain small amounts were collected from each of the investors as cultivation charges. It is also submitted that the appellants have stopped doing this business and have repaid all the investors of the amount that was collected as cultivation charges. An affidavit dated 19/3/2005 was also filed to show that moneys have been refunded to all the investors even with respect to the cultivation charges. The affidavit dated 19/3/2005 has been placed before us which shall form part and parcel of the record of this court.

4. In view of the fact that the cultivation charges have been repaid, according to the appellant which is in the form of an affidavit, there is no further use in keeping this appeal pending before us. It is for the Respondent to verify the contents of the affidavit, if they so desire.

5. We however, direct the appellant not to access the securities market for a period of 5 years as per the impugned order. In that view of the matter, the earlier order dated 7/12/2000 is set aside and any observation in the impugned order with respect to repayment is also set aside. The impugned order is also set side except that the appellant shall not access the securities market for a period of 5 years.

6. This however, will not preclude SEBI from taking fresh action in accordance with law, if there are any investors complaints.

7. It is submitted by Shri Subhash Jha, learned senior counsel for the Respondent that there is a short fall of Rs.1 lakh owing to the invest

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ors even with respect to cultivation charges. 8. Shri Sounder Rajan, counsel for the appellant undertakes to make good this short fall if pointed out and distribute it to the investors. Appeal is disposed of accordingly. No order as to costs.