In order to provide for an alternative and efficient dispute resolution mechanism for securities law violations, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) introduced the consent mechanism through a circular in 2007 (which was partially modified in 2012). This was subsequently codified through the SEBI (Settlement of Administrative and Civil Proceedings) Regulations, 2014 (“2014 Regulations”), pursuant to the notification of the Securities Laws (Amendment) Act, 2014, which expressly empowered SEBI to settle matters with a view to removing any ambiguity over the validity of the settlement process. This regime specifically excluded certain serious violations (e.g. insider trading, fraud) from the purview of the settlement mechanism. Explicit provisions which enabled initiation of settlement proceedings prior to the issuance of show cause notice were also introduced, to reduce administrative burden and cost on SEBI.
Continue Reading Amendments to SEBI Settlement Regime – A Snapshot