Worried over delays in prosecution of those found to be involved in frauds and other offences, market watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has asked the government to set up special courts to fast-track the process of bringing the guilty to book.
Expressing concern over some cases continuing for years, SEBI Chairman U K Sinha told PTI that there was a need for special courts to expedite the process and the regulator has asked the government to facilitate the same.
Asked about the cases like the one against Rajat Gupta in the US where the Indian—origin banker is facing a possible jail term for many years, Mr. Sinha said in an interview that legal provisions in India and the US are entirely different.
“In the US system, the investigators have got more powers and secondly it can lead to prosecution and actual criminal punishment. In our system, the emphasis is more on penalty and now the penalty is much higher in cases like insider trading than what it used to be earlier.
“But people start comparing that people in such and such case somebody in the US has been given a jail sentence,” the SEBI chief said.
Sinha said that there is a provision for prosecution as well in India, in addition to penalties.
“But our prosecution is not succeeding to that level. I admit that. In some cases, where we have tried prosecution, we have found that the prosecution has been going on for years and years together.
“Primarily, that is because we do not have earmarked judges. If we want our prosecutions to succeed, we need earmarked judges. We need special courts. If that happens, there will be a marked improvement on this front,” he said.
Asked whether he would ask the government to make provisions for special courts to handle market—related cases, Sinha said: “We have done that. We do not keep things pending here. We take up the matter at the earliest occasion.”