Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-backed Reliance Industries has approached Supreme Court and filed a contempt petition against capital market regulator - Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) alleging ‘wilful disobedience’ pertaining to an order of the top court that had directed the Sebi to give Reliance Industries access to certain documents in a two-decade-old stock allotment case, The Economic Times reported.
On August 5, the Supreme Court had directed Sebi to share copies of the first and second opinions given by Justice (retired) BN Srikrishna and the report of YH Malegam to Reliance in a case dating back two decades.
The move comes at a time when Sebi plans to file a review petition in the apex court against the August 5 order that had ruled in favour of the company on accessing the relevant documents. Reliance has also written a letter to the registrar of the Supreme Court, seeking an urgent hearing of the matter before the Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana, on August 22.
These documents relate to a 2002 complaint filed by S Gurumurthy with Sebi against Reliance, its associate companies and directors. The complaint alleged Reliance had fraudulently allotted 120 million equity shares to entities purportedly connected with the promoters, and that the allotment had been funded by RIL NSE -0.77 % and other group firms.
After the Supreme Court’s ruling, Reliance wrote twice to Sebi seeking copies of the three documents. Sebi responded saying it was seeking legal advice from its senior counsel.
Acting on the 2002 complaint, Sebi issued a show-cause notice to the promoters of Reliance on February 24, 2011, alleging violation of takeover regulations. In 2020, Sebi filed a complaint before the Sebi special court seeking prosecution of Reliance Industries. The court, however, rejected Sebi’s plea as there was a delay in acting on the 2002 complaint.
After the rejection order by the special court, Sebi moved the Bombay High Court. Reliance also approached the Bombay High Court, seeking access to the three documents Sebi was relying upon. Its plea was rejected by the Bombay High Court, following which Reliance approached the Supreme Court that ruled in its favour.