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Sebi mum on Pendse deposition

Mumbai, Aug. 26: Dilip Pendse, the former managing director of Tata Finance Ltd (TFL), today deposed before the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) over the alleged irregularities committed by the NBFC during his tenure.

This is expected to be his final deposition, as Pendse had been questioned several times on the TFL issue. Senior Sebi officials declined comment on the developments. The market watchdog is currently believed to be preparing a case and will decide whether or not to show-cause Pendse.

After considering Pendse’s deposition, Sebi will decide the future course of investigations in the TFL matter. His advocates referred to today’s deposition as a “routine matter”.

The market regulator is probing the alleged irregularities, including alleged insider trading and circular trading involving TFL’s subsidiary Niskalp Trading.

The probe was initially instituted after Sebi came across a reference in the AF Ferguson report on certain irregular trading transactions. The audit firm later withdrew its report amidst much controversy.

Sebi is already investigating insider trading charges concerning former Niskalp chairman J. E. Talaulicar. The Tatas have forwarded the internal report on the investigations carried out by the corporate house. The report, it is believed, could not clear Talaulicar of the charges.

Besides Sebi, the department of company affairs and the Reserve Bank of India are also piecing together the puzzle of the alleged irregularities that forced the Tatas to pump in more than Rs 500 crore into the finance company.

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