BENGALURU/MUMBAI: The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) on Monday stayed Sebi’s debarment order against Future Group founder Kishore Biyani and related parties, said multiple sources familiar with the development.
The tribunal pronounced the order verbally on the matter, they said.
The securities markets regulator had barred Biyani and four other entities from accessing the capital market for one year for alleged insider trading violations. They were also barred from dealing in Future Retail shares for two years. “A formal order is yet to be received, but the Sebi ban has been stayed,” a person aware of the SAT proceedings said.
Sebi had also directed Biyani and other entities to disgorge over Rs 20 crore made wrongfully by dealing in Future Retail shares while in possession of confidential information.
The appellate tribunal on Monday heard the appeals of Biyani and other entities against the Sebi directives. The details of the order are yet to be uploaded on SAT’s website. Future Corporate Resources had said the Sebi order was “untenable” since it treated a well-anticipated and publicly well-known impending reorganisation of the home furnishing businesses that the Future Group effected in 2017 to be unpublished information.
A spokesperson of Future Group declined to comment immediately on Monday.
Biyani is in the midst of selling Future’s retail portfolio to Reliance Industries (RIL). But the deal has been dragged to various judicial forums by its estranged partner Amazon. After Sebi’s debarment order, Future Retail had said that the markets regulator’s directive will not pose any hurdle on the Rs 24,713-crore transaction with RIL.
Apart from two pending cases in Delhi high court, the battle has moved to the Supreme Court as well.
In August 2019, Amazon acquired 49% in a promoter entity of Future Retail. The deal also gave the US e-commerce giant the right to buy into Future Retail after a certain period of years. Further, Biyani had also entered into a restriction on transfer of shares to a list of “specified persons”. This list included RIL. But Biyani, owing to his tight financial position, decided to sell Future’s retail portfolio to RIL.