Mumbai: Market regulator Sebi today barred textile company International Hometex Ltd and its three directors from the securities market for persisting lapses in redressal of investor complaints against the firm.
As per the order, International Hometex, its chairman and managing director Vineet Kumar Agarwal and two other directors (Vinod Kumar Agarwal and Vishwinder Nath Gupta) have been barred from accessing and dealing in securities market till all the pending investor grievances are resolved by them.
The order passed by Sebi Whole-Time Member Rajeev Agarwal said that failure to redress investors' grievances by a listed company adversely affects the confidence of investors in the securities market.
"If such defaults are not dealt with by appropriate enforcement action, the investors will not have a protected environment for their investments in the securities market.
"In this case, the company has failed to redress the aforesaid investors' complaints and its directors are also responsible for such default," Sebi said.
The company was formerly known as 'Trimbak Industries Limited' and its shares are listed on the BSE, Jaipur Stock Exchange Limited and Delhi Stock Exchange Limited. However, trading in its shares is suspended on all these exchanges.
Some of the complaints against the company are pending unresolved since 2003, Sebi said.
The regulator said it has been receiving investors' grievances against the company and the same were forwarded periodically to the company for redressal.
However, the company failed to resolve such complaints and submit the Action Taken Report (ATR) on such complaints. As of March 2011, there were 58 complaints pending unresolved, after which Sebi in April last year asked the company to resolve those complaints within 15 days and submit a status report.
Sebi's letter to the company was returned undelivered with the remark "office shifted". A public notice also did not elicit any response, after which Sebi issued show cause notices in February 2012 to the company and its directors.
At the hearing in March 2012, the company said it has taken steps to come out of the suspended list of companies and would adhere to all the compliance requirements, including redressal of investors' grievances.
Taking into account the company's submission, Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) asked it to resolve all the pending complaints and submit ATR by 2 July 2012, failing which it would face enforcement actions.
However, the company failed to redress the grievances within the stipulated time and there are 21 complaints pending against the company for redressal till date, Sebi said.
In a similar case, Sebi today barred Top Telemedia Ltd and its two directors—Deep Kumar Bhanuprasad Trivedi and Indrajit Vaghela Lakhaji—from accessing the securities market.
They have been banned from buying, selling or dealing in securities, on account of unresolved investor complaints.
Formerly known as Top Cassettes Ltd, the firm is now listed on the BSE, Ahmedabad Stock Exchange and Pune Stock Exchange. Trading of the scrip in all these bourses have been suspended.
At present, seven investor complaints are pending with the company. The count as of March, 2011, stood at 23 with some of them have been unresolved since 2000.
The company in a letter dated 9 May had informed Sebi it had partially addressed investors' grievances and sought two more weeks to resolve the complaints.
However, Sebi said even though more than two months had elapsed, the company has neither redressed grievances nor informed it about any steps taken in that regard.