DLF asked to give fund-requirement plans for interim relief from SEBI’s market ban

As it fights a Sebi ban on accessing capital markets, realty giant DLF was asked today to provide details of funds it immediately needs to get an interim relief to redeem capital locked in mutual funds.

While challenging the Sebi order barring it and six others, including top executives, from capital markets for three years, DLF had sought this interim relief on October 22, after which the capital markets regulator was asked to give a reply.

DLF was asked to file an affidavit in this matter by Monday, after which SAT would issue directions on Wednesday (November 5) on whether the interim relief can be given.

Subsequently, DLF has also been asked to submit its reply by December 8 to submissions made by the regulator with regard to the notice issued to it on the main appeal against the Sebi order. After receiving DLF's reply, SAT would begin final hearing in the case on December 10.

Sebi has barred DLF and others for "active and deliberate suppression" of material information at the time of its IPO over seven years ago.

During the first hearing on October 22, Sebi had faced the flak for delay in passing the order and also for the adverse impact suffered by shareholders, who lost over Rs 7,500 crore of their wealth in a single day post the order.

While promoters own 74.93 per cent stake in DLF, foreign institutional investors have close to 20 per cent and retail shareholders have about 4 per cent, among others.

This was one of the rare orders by Sebi where it barred a blue-chip firm and its top promoter/executives from market.

DLF's initial public offer in 2007 had fetched Rs 9,187 crore - the biggest IPO in the country at that time.

The case has also brought to limelight 'technicalities' involved in the practice of Sebi giving 'observations' and not 'approval or clearance' for an IPO.

There is a view that regulators need to understand that the business practices tend to be different in real estate sector, from manufacturing or other segments of the economy.

However, others feel that regulations cannot be overlooked to accommodate certain 'prevailing practices' in one particular sector, such as those related to use of 'friendly' entities for purchase of land or development rights in the name of ease of doing business.

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