Markets regulator Sebi on Wednesday levied a penalty of Rs 15 lakh on an individual for manipulating the share prices of Panafic Industrials Ltd (PIL).
The regulator slapped a fine of Rs 15 lakh on Jalaj Agrawal and directed him to pay the said penalty within 45 days of receipt of this order, Sebi said in the order.
The order came after Sebi received complaints alleging receipt of SMS urging investors to buy the scrip of PIL.
Pursuant to this, the regulator investigated during the period January-March 2017 to ascertain whether there was any violation of the provisions of PFUTP(Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices) by Agrawal in the trading of PIL scrip.
In its order, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) found that Agrawal had sent SMSs in the scrip of PIL by availing bulk SMS services from Shree SAI Venkatesh Technologies and such SMSs were designed to influence the decision of investors dealing in the scrip of the company.
"I find that the dissemination of false and misleading SMS messages in order to lure investors into buying the scrip of Panafic constituted an “unwarranted” interference in the operation of market forces of supply and demand in the scrip of the companies and thus amounted to market abuse," Sebi's Adjudicating Officer Barnali Mukherjee said.
By indulging in such acts, Agrawal has violated the provisions of PFUTP norms.