Home Business Sebi bars ex-TV host Pandya, 7 others from market for 5 years, imposes fine.

Sebi bars ex-TV host Pandya, 7 others from market for 5 years, imposes fine.

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Sebi bans Pandya, Alpesh Furiya, Manish Furiya, Alpa Furiya, Alpesh Vasanji Furiya HUF, Manish V Furiya HUF, Mahan Investment, and Toshee Trade.

Sebi bars Pradeep Pandya and seven others from market, fines Rs 2.6 crore for fraudulent trading. Alpesh Furiya, Manish Furiya, Alpa Furiya, Alpesh Vasanji Furiya HUF, Manish V Furiya HUF, Mahan Investment, and Toshee Trade also banned. Pandya hosted CNBC Awaaz shows, Alpesh Furiya provided stock recommendations on Twitter.

Sebi bars
Image Source: Legal Mantra

A strong correlation found between Pandya’s stock recommendations on ‘Pandya Ka Funda’ show and trades by Alpesh Furiya and associates. Pandya shared confidential info with Furiya, who profited from trades before public airing.

Regulator observed Furiya sharing tips with Opu Funikant Nag for a salary boost. This highlights intent to exploit insider info for personal gain, noted Sebi. In December 2020, NSE analyzed Furiya’s trading activities.

Subsequently, Sebi conducted additional analysis from November 2020 to January 2021. It examined call data records of Pandya and Alpesh Furiya, highlighting Pandya’s privileged access to recommendation information.

Pandya shared the information with Alpesh Furiya and connected entities, who traded consistently in sync with Pandya’s show recommendations. This trading violated PFUTP (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices) norms. Consequently, Sebi has barred Pandya, Alpesh Furiya, and six other entities from “accessing the securities market and prohibited from buying, selling, or dealing in securities, directly or indirectly, or associating with the securities market in any manner for five years.”

SEBI Bars Individuals and Fines Entities

The regulator fined Pandya and Alpesh Furiya Rs 1 crore each, and the remaining six entities Rs 10 lakh each. Sebi also ordered Alpesh Furiya, his related accounts, and Opu Funikant Nag to disgorge gains from fraudulent trades. Alpesh Furiya and related accounts gained Rs 10.73 crore; Rs 8.4 crore already impounded by Sebi, they must now disgorge Rs 2.34 crore. Additionally, Opu Funikant Nag must disgorge Rs 10.20 lakh.

Six other entities were fined ₹10 lakh each and barred for five years.

Pandya, as a CNBC Awaaz anchor, shared confidential upcoming stock recommendations with Alpesh Furiya, who then traded through his accounts and related entities to profit before the recommendations aired.

This behavior shows a clear intent to leverage insider information and exploit information asymmetry for personal gain, Sebi noted. The regulator likened it to a classic front-running case where a trader benefits from an impending securities transaction.

“When TV anchors share material non-public information, it breaches ethical standards and distorts market dynamics. Such selective information dissemination gives unfair advantages, undermining equal information access. This trust erosion can significantly reduce investor confidence, making them feel the markets are rigged,” SEBI’s 55-page order said.

You might also be interested in – Sebi Requires IPO-Introducing Firms to Provide 10-Minute Video Disclosure

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