The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) dismissed a plea filed by Bharti Airtel’s shareholder, Deepak Mehra who had filed the plea against the SEBI order on open offer pertaining to proposed merger of Bharti with MTN.
The SAT termed the plea as infructuous and said that the shareholder had made a premature appeal as the deal is yet to be completed. “The locus of the investor to agitate the matter before SAT is clearly not free from doubt,” added SAT.
SAT stated that as the SEBI communication is only an interpretative letter providing an interpretation of the pronouncements of the takeover code as sought by Bharti under the informal guidance scheme of SEBI and the views in the informal guidance are the view of the corporate finance division of SEBI, and it will not be binding on the board (SEBI). This aspect has also been communicated by SEBI’s GM Corporate Finance Department to Bharti.
Responding to Mehra’s charge that the board didn’t respond to its representation, SAT said inaction by SEBI cannot be the subject matter of an appeal, also it doesn’t find mention in the memorandum of appeal.
SAT also took note of the fact that Mehra had acquired 100 shares of Bharti on July 10, after SEBI’s informal guidance was made public on July 7.