CNBC Awaaz has terminated stocks editor and anchor Hemant Ghai after an order was passed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) against him for violating stock market regulations. Ghar was the co-host of Stocks 20-20 on the Network18 Group’s Hindi Business news channel. On 13th January, SEBI had banned him from trading in the capital market, and also from giving any recommendation related to stocks.
The network issued a statement on his termination and said that its employees are required to pledge themselves to a code of conduct that expressly forbids them to manipulate prices of the listed securities. The network added, “Mr. Ghai was also a signatory to the code of conduct. Network18 takes its commitment to honesty and integrity seriously. We will not tolerate any behaviour which does not conform to the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct.”
Ghai did trading from his wife and mother’s accounts
In its orders, SEBI alleged that Ghai had used his wife and mother’s names to purchase stocks that he would recommend the next day. It resulted in the increased purchase of the stocks, increasing the price, after which would sale the stocks making a profit. Such practices are prohibited under the provisions of SEBI’s (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices) Regulations.
SEBI in its order said, “By purchasing shares in the accounts of Jaya Hemant Ghai and Shyam Mohini Ghai for which buy recommendation is given, with the advance information of buy recommendation and thereafter selling the same as soon as the market opens on the recommendation day unfairly taking advantage of the price and volume rise post recommendation is a fraud played upon the market and the viewers of the Show. The viewers of the Show trust the recommendation made in the Show without realising the scheme has been devised for their personal gains.”
Ghai cannot indulge in investment activities
These trades were made through Authorised Person of Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd., namely MAS Consultancy, Mehsana, Gujarat. Ghai is no longer allowed to indulge in any activity related to giving investment advice, sell or buy recommendations, publish any research report or any activity related to the market until further notice. As per the reports, he had made around Rs.3 crore by such activities, and SEBI has ordered the respective banks to freeze the accounts of Ghai along with the accounts of his wife and mother.