Sebi slaps Rs 10 lakh fine on Axis Trustee Services
New Delhi: Markets regulator Sebi today imposed a penalty of Rs 10 lakh on Axis Trustee Services for non-compliance with debenture trustee norms.
It found that Axis Trustee failed to appoint nominee directors for debt issues of three companies --- Jaiprakash Associates, Essar Power and Amtek Auto. It also failed to create security in respect of debt issues of Essar Power and Amtek Auto.
Axis Trustee, despite an administrative warning issued by Sebi in November 2013, failed to obtain valuation report, quarterly as well as half yearly reports from the issuer firms on the certain debt issues, Sebi said in an order.
By not fulfilling its duties, Axis Trustee has failed to comply with debenture trustee regulation, it said.
The markets watchdog had conducted inspection of books and records of Axis Trustee in October 2015 and supplementary inspection of debt issues by Amtek Auto.
The inspection report revealed that there were various repetitive non-compliances by the debenture trustee despite issuance of administrative warning in November 2013 by Sebi pursuant to inspection conducted in August 2012.
Following this, Sebi had initiated adjudication proceedings against the debenture trustee after not satisfied by the explanations given by it.
Debenture Trustee has a pivotal role to play in protecting the interests of the debenture-holders and on noticing any default by the company, it has to take appropriate timely corrective action, Sebi said.
"In many instances noticee (Axis Trustee) has failed or ignored its statutory responsibilities and obligations and that too despite previously being issued an administrative warning dated November 14, 2013 for various non-compliances in this regard." it added.
Accordingly, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said it has imposed a penalty of Rs 10 lakh on the debenture trustee.