The settlement charges of Rs 50 crore collected by Sebi for dropping its proceedings against Anil Ambani group is a record high and exceeds the total of such payments collected by the regulator in a single year.
Sebi began to settle its pending enforcement actions through the consent procedure, an out-of-court like settlement that involves a payment of settlement charge by the accused entities, in 2007.
Although the regulator has settled about 1,000 cases through such a procedure, the settlement charges have never been even close to Rs 50 crore in any previous case.
As per today's consent order, the two Anil Ambani group firms Reliance Infra and RNRL have collectively paid Rs 50 crore, through their directors, for settling the charges.
This figure is equivalent to more than half of the total settlement charges collected by Sebi through consent orders in the past four years at an estimated Rs 98 crore.
In 2007, Sebi collected total settlement charges of just about Rs 1.2 crore from 21 entities through consent orders. In 2008, the total settlement charges stood at about Rs 30 crore that were collected from 371 entities.
The total of such charges rose to Rs 41 crore in 2009, when Sebi passed consent orders against 469 entities, while more than 200 entities together paid less than Rs 30 crore in 2010.
The Sebi does not accept all consent applications and has so far rejected close to 700 of them. Besides, not all the enforcement actions are settled only on payment of money. The consent settlement in 100 cases, including the one with Anil Ambani group firms, have involved conditional debarment from dealing in securities market.