Mumbai, Oct. 26: The Securities Appellate Tribunal’s (SAT) directive, asking the market regulator to re-examine whether Gujarat Ambuja—by virtue of its acquisition of the 14.45 per cent stake from the Tatas—has gained control of ACC’s management, has put the Securities and Exchange Board of India on a spot.
The order will put Sebi in a quandary. “I, would be surprised if it challenges the directive,” a legal expert tracking the case said. The order has come at the most mis-opportune time for Sebi. If it decides to appeal against the SAT order, it will throw an indication on the line of thinking of the market regulator in similar other cases.
The order comes at a time when Sebi is grappling with the Grasim open offer for L&T, which is a similar case, except for the alleged insider trading charges that are also being investigated in the L&T matter. According to observers tracking the two cases, it is a god-sent opportunity to correct a major flaw created by Sebi when they absolved the Sekhsarias from making an open offer.
A senior Sebi official declined to comment on the SAT order, stating that the market regulator is yet to receive the order.