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Departments that investigate a matter should not be responsible for holding inquiries and show-cause notice hearings, or for passing final orders, Madhabi Puri Buch, the chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) clarified on Wednesday through an internal circular.

“Quasi-judicial actions, other than interim orders, shall be undertaken by the whole time members for cases not handled by them in their capacity as whole time member in charge of departments allocated to them," Sebi said in the internal circular. A copy of the circular has been reviewed by Mint. “The regulator’s move aims to ensure that Sebi’s inve-stigation and orders are scrutinized internally so that its orders do not fail when challenged in the Securities Appellate Tribunal and in the Supr-eme Court," said a person familiar with the regulator’s thinking.

The task of reviewing such quasi-judicial action is split between the three whole-time members, said the circular.

Matters handled by S.K. Mohanty will be taken up by Ananta Barua for quasi-judicial action. Barua’s link member will be Ashwani Bhatia, while Bhatia’s link member will be Mohanty. Bhatia has taken charge as a whole time member of Sebi on Wednesday, said a release by the regulator.

Prior to joining Sebi as a whole-time member, Bhatia was the managing director of State Bank of India (SBI). He has experience of three and a half decades with the State Bank group, which he had joined as a probationary officer in 1985.

Before becoming MD of SBI, Bhatia served as MD and CEO of SBI Funds Management Pvt. Ltd.

He will handle the department of debt and hybrid securities, alternative investment fund and foreign portfolio, market intermediaries regulation and supervision department, the corporation finance investigation department, and the office of investor assistance and education," Sebi said.


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