USL case: Sebi slaps Rs 3 crore fine on three individuals for insider trading activities

New Delhi: Markets regulator on Tuesday imposed a penalty totalling more than Rs 3 crore on three persons for activities in the shares of United Spirits Ltd.

The watchdog has slapped a fine of Rs 1.32 crore on Poonam Haresh Jashnani, Rs 93.24 lakh on Haresh Parmanand Jashnani and Rs 80.76 lakh on Varun Haresh Jashnani.

An investigation was carried out with respect to the scrip of United Spirits Ltd (USL) for the period from January to April, 2014 as well as into the possible violation of norms by these three persons.

found that Jananis indulged in activity in USL shares on the basis of information passed by Nishant Gupte, who was the global business development manager (mergers and acquisitions) at Diageo.

He was in possession of Unpublished Price Sensitive Information (UPSI) relating to the open offer for acquisition of shares of United Spirits by Relay BV, together with Diageo Plc as the person acting in concert.

Gupte, who is the son-in-law of Haresh and Poonam and husband of Varun’s sister, was part of the core team which represented Diageo/PAC in the transaction to consolidate shareholding of the acquirer in USL and was guiding the team since the beginning of the transaction lifecycle.

In three separate orders, said trades of Haresh, Varun and Poonam showed a strong preponderance of probability that they were executed when they were in possession of UPSI.

The noticees have repeatedly traded in the scrip of USL while in possession of the UPSI, the regulator said in the similarly-worded orders.

By indulging in such trades, Haresh made an unlawful gain to the tune over Rs 31 lakh while the unlawful gains by Varun and Poonam stood at Rs 26.92 lakh and Rs 43.97 lakh, respectively, as per .

In January, the regulator directed the three persons to disgorge unlawful gains totalling over Rs 1 crore made by them, along with interest, in the case.