Investors aggrieved by actions of brokers or other market entities can look forward to an upfront interim relief payment, even if the arbitration award decided in their favour gets into an appeal.

According to SEBI chief U.K. Sinha, investor grievance redressal has been one of the top focus areas for SEBI during 2013 and it has been now ensured that the aggrieved investors get a portion of arbitration award immediately even if the decision is challenged by the broker.

Consequently, an investor would not have to wait for the entire appeal process to get over for payment of the award.

At the same time, SEBI is working on further improvements to its computerised integrated investor redressal system SCORES, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chairman said.

“On investor grievance, there have been 3-4 important developments. For example, earlier the grievance redressal for grievance between broker and a client used to take place at four centres in the country. This has been extended to 16 centres.

“The grievance redressal panel also earlier used to be predominantly made of brokers and in many cases it was 100 per cent dominated by brokers.

“Now, we have ensured that the panel is neutral -- from a broker driven panel we have made it a neutral panel,” Mr. Sinha told PTI in an interview.

Giving further details on steps being taken for safeguarding investors’ interests and for redressal of their grievances, Mr. Sinha said, “SEBI has now provided that in case a reward is given by the panel against the broker and the broker is getting into an appeal, a portion of the award will still be paid to the investor.

“So, the investor would not have to wait for the entire appeal process to be over and he would be compensated in the meantime by way of an interim relief.”

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