Mumbai (IANS) SEBI has imposed an overall penalty of over Rs 5 crore on brokerage firm OPG Securities Private Ltd, along with its promoter and MD Sanjay Gupta, and two other Directors in the NSE co-location matter.
As per a complaint received by the capital market regulator, OPG Securities used the NSE system to its advantage by hiring Nagbhusan Bhat, who was working with Omnesys Technologies, to figure out which server was working better.
The brokerage also allegedly made certain arrangements with a NSE datacentre staffer named Jagdish Joshi who would inform it of the time when the servers would start, and therefore, they could be the first to connect.
NSE was the second largest shareholder of Omnesys Technologies, which had the knowledge that connecting faster would put the server ahead in the queue.
Further, the complainant had alleged that the back-up servers that were installed for the purpose of business continuity, whose access should ideally be permitted in case the primary servers went down, were allowed to be accessed by OPG as load on such server was low.
The SEBI order noted that as a Director of OPG, Gupta was under an obligation to ensure that correct information was provided promptly to the regulator, however, he failed to ensure co-operation and hampered investigations in the instant proceedings.
"Accordingly, I hold that the submission made by the noticees in this regard are incorrect and misleading in nature," said the order by the Adjudicating Officer, Amit Pradhan.
On the other noticees, the regulator said that as they were directors of the company during the relevant period of violation, they were responsible for its day to day affairs and are "vicariously liable" for the acts of omissions and commissions of OPG.
"In the facts and circumstances of this case, the conduct of the noticee is blameworthy being in defiance of the obligations to exercise due skill, care and diligence in the conduct of its business and compliance with statutory requirements apart from indulging in 'unfair trade practice' in securities which is prohibited under Regulation 4(1) of the PFUTP Regulations and due to which they made unlawful gains," the order said.
SEBI has imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crore jointly on the company and the directors, along with a Rs 10 lakh fine each on OPG and Sanjay Gupta.