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The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) order in the PNB Housing Finance case. The housing finance company has in turn filed a caveat in the SC.

“It has been brought to our notice that Sebi has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court against the order of SAT," the company said in a notice to the exchanges. “The company is examining the appeal filed by Sebi," it said.

Last month, SAT had delivered a split verdict on the tussle between PNB Housing Finance and Sebi over the lender’s proposed 4,000 crore deal with a group of investors led by private equity firm Carlyle. Justice Tarun Agarwala ruled in favour of the lender, while Justice M.T. Joshi gave a judgement in favour of Sebi.

The 21 June interim order of the SAT bench allowed PNB Housing Finance to seek shareholders’ approval for the deal at an extraordinary general meeting, but said the results of the vote should be kept in a sealed cover until further orders.

The matter was expected to end up in the Supreme Court, but the Sebi decision to move the apex court first against the SAT order has taken PNB Housing Finance by surprise, according to an official aware of the matter. The company was waiting for the final order from the presiding officer at SAT before it could move the court, he said.

The tussle between Sebi and PNB Housing Finance began in June when the latter announced a preferential sale of shares worth 3,200 crore and warrants worth 800 crore to a set of investors led by Carlyle. Soon, proxy adviser Stakeholders Empowerment Services criticized the deal as “unfair" to public shareholders and a violation of the company’s Articles of Association (AoA) pertaining to the valuation. Sebi then asked PNB Housing Finance to put the deal on hold on the ground that it violated its AoA

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