PIL filed on Sahara advertisement ‘denigrating’ SEBI

Lucknow, March 20 (IANS) A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Wednesday alleging a print advertisement given by the Sahara Group was “openly denigrating” market regulator SEBI.

The PIL was filed by senior police official Amitabh Thakur and his social activist wife Nutan Thakur.
“The full-page advertisement dated March 17, issued by the Sahara India Parivar and Subrata Roy Sahara is against the provisions of law as it accuses SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India), which is a statutory body established to safeguard the interests of investors and to act as the Market Regulator,” Thakur told IANS.
The advertisement, he said, has also criticised Justice (retd.) B.N. Agarwal’s conduct. The retired Supreme Court judge was appointed by the apex court to oversee its order to two Sahara Group companies for refund of investors’ money was obeyed.
“Both SEBI and Justice Agarwal are only performing their official duty, the matter is still sub-judice before the Supreme Court and hence these people could have presented their grievance there,” the petitioner pleaded.
“The act of criticizing SEBI through an advertisement prima-facie seems to be a criminal misconduct under sections 186 and 189 of IPC and provisions of Companies Act, 1956,” the PIL says.
The petitioners have also sought a complete ban on all advertisements where any constitutional or statutory bodies are criticised.
The PIL is expected to be heard March 22 by the bench of Chief Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice D.K. Arora.