Sebi employees group condemns CBI’s raids on three officials

Mumbai: A day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) searched the residential premises of three Sebi officials in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam, the securities market regulator’s employee association has condemned the investigation agency’s move.

The Sebi Employees Association (SEA) said that the Saradha matter, which dates back to 2010-2013, was extensively examined by the CBI. It had not only scrutinised all relevant files but had also recorded statements of all concerned Sebi officials. Some of the officials are no longer with the institution.

Subsequently, an independent functionary reporting to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) had also examined the matter and closed it. The SEA, in its letter to Sebi chairman Ajay Tyagi, said that while every enforcement agency is within its rights to carry out searches, it looks like the regulator’s officials were being “selectively targeted much after the matter has reached closure from the vigilance perspective”.

The SEA further said that section

17A(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act states that before conducting an enquiry into an offence by a public servant relating to decisions made during the discharge of his official duties, the agency should take approval of a competent authority (within Sebi).

The employees association criticised CBI’s action of leaking the officers’ names to the media, saying that such moves “not only damage the reputation of the officers concerned but also cast a shadow on the entire organisation”.

The SEA added that it “extends support to bona fide decisions taken by officials during the course of their duties in line with laid down procedures” and to show its solidarity its members gathered at the institution’s lawns on Tuesday.

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