SEBI has barred Anugrah Stock & Broking and five others from the market for up to seven years in a case pertaining to providing unregulated portfolio management services (PMS). This apart, SEBI also levied a penalty totaling ₹8 crore against Anugrah, its directors and associate entities, which has to be paid in 45 days. Part of SEBI order was a confirmation of its earlier order passed in November 2020.

The five banned entities include Anugrah’s owners Paresh Mulji Kariya, Sadhana Paresh Kariya – Teji Mandi Analytics, its director Anil Gopal Gandhi and Om Sri Sai Investments, an associate entity of Anugrah Stock.

Promising assured returns

While promising assured returns to the prospective clients, all of the above were providing Derivative Advisor Services (DAS) which was in the nature of PMS. They carried out activities without seeking requisite registration under the PMS rules, SEBI said in its order.

The market regulator further said the entities violated the Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices (PFUTP) and PMS rules. SEBI, in its investigation, found that Teji Mandi Analytics, a sub-broker of Anugrah Stock, as well as Gandhi aided and abated Mumbai-based Anugrah Stock in providing DAS in the nature of PMS, thereby promising assured returns to the clients.

Teji Mandi Analytics and its director Anil Gopal Gandhi have been restrained from the securities market for five years, while four entities have been prohibited from the securities market for seven years.

Prior issues

Earlier in March 2021, the regulator had imposed a fine of ₹90 lakh on Anugrah Stock for misusing client funds and making incorrect reporting to stock exchanges. The order followed a joint investigation by SEBI, BSE, NSE and Central Depository Services India Ltd between April 2017 and September 2018.

Anugrah Stock, in November 2020, was declared as “defaulter” by stock exchanges. Besides, there is also a proceeding going on for the liquidation of the brokerage house.

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