G Mohan Gopal, a former member on the board of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), has alleged that the Sebi board “abused” its powers to protect CB Bhave from being subjected to any independent inquiry with “respect to his actions as NSDL chairman” during the 2003-06 IPO scam.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Gopal wrote, “As an outgoing (part time, independent) member of the Sebi board, I write to convey my strong concern about the gross abuse of power and corrupt practices in the Sebi board over last two years to protect Sebi chairman CB Bhave from being subjected to independent inquiry with respect to his actions as chairman of NSDL during IPO scam.”

The letter written on December 24, 2010 has been made public by the PMO in an RTI reply to activist SC Agrawal. The PMO has said it has forwarded the letter to the finance ministry for further action.

When contacted by PTI, Bhave declined to give his comments.

Curiously, the market regulator changed its stand in the Supreme Court last week when it filed an affidavit agreeing to restore orders indicting Bhave in the IPO scam.

In an affidavit filed on May 5, the Sebi said it would reconsider the very orders it had declared as ‘non est’ in November 2009 when Bhave was chairman.

The finance ministry also said, in its RTI reply dated April 8, 2011, that it has forwarded the letter to Sebi for its comments and even sent three reminders but in vain.

The finance ministry had set up a committee consisting of two Sebi members — G Mohan Gopal, now National Judicial Academy director, and former RBI deputy governor V Leeladhar — to look into the IPO scam. The committee had passed three orders and found that NSDL had failed in its duty.



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June 2021