SEBI fines Biocon employee for violating insider trading norms

SEBI has imposed a penalty of Rs 3 lakh on the General Manager for Regulatory Affairs of Biocon, which has to be paid within 45 days.
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The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has found an employee of Biocon Ltd guilty of violating norms prohibiting insider trading. It has imposed a penalty of Rs 3 lakh which the employee has to pay within 45 days.

Vandana Singh, General Manager for Regulatory Affairs with the company, is also the "designated person", which means that she would have unpublished price sensitive data.

The regulator's investigation showed that Singh, who held 9,550 equity shares of the company, acquired through exercise of stock options, sold 3,550 equity shares of the company from May 29, 2018 to September 28, 2018 without seeking preclearance from the compliance officer.

It was also observed that pledges for 3,550 shares had been invoked in the account of the noticee on various dates during the September-October 2018 by Edelweiss.

As per Singh, she did the transaction during the aforesaid period and did not take prior approval before selling, due to oversight and in urgency to clear the loan amount taken from Edelweiss.

The transactions done by the General Manager for Regulatory Affairs in the instant case reportedly exceeded the value of Rs 10 lakh on two occasions and had to be disclosed within two days, but she failed to do so.
"In view of the said facts, it has been alleged that the Noticee had violated the provisions of Clause 6 of Code of Conduct under Schedule B of Regulation 9(1) and (2) of the PIT Regulations which required her to obtain pre-clearance from the Compliance Officer of the Company," the SEBI order said.

SEBI has imposed a consolidated monetary penalty of Rs 3 lakh on Singh in totality for both the violations -- not obtaining preclearance as well as making delayed disclosures which attracts section 15HB and 15A (b) of the SEBI Act, respectively.

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