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M Dhruva gets SAT relief for Ackruti promoters after SEBI ban; JSA, Crawford Bayley in the wings

Exclusive: M Dhruva & Partners and senior counsel Janak Dwarkadas won an interim order from the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) in favour of Ackruti City, allowing Ackruti’s promoters to pledge their own shares after the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on 2 December banned the promoters from dealing in their shares following allegations of price manipulation.

On Wednesday (16 December) the SAT passed an interim order that Ackruti and its promoters should be allowed to pledge their shares for the purposes of capital raising pending the SAT’s next hearing on 21 January 2011.

Ackruti had challenged SEBI’s December 2 ex parte order on 7 December before the SAT.

M Dhruva & Partners managing partner Nishit Dhruva had instructed senior counsel Janak Dwarkadas to appear on behalf of Ackruti at the SAT.

“It was an ex parte order without hearing us,” said Dhruva. “The contention taken up by us is that such powers can only be exercised if there is grave urgency in the order which in our case is not made out.”

The appeal also disputed that any price manipulation of Ackruti shares took place.

Welspun Corp and Murli Industries were two other companies whose promoters SEBI banned from trading in their own shares.

It is understood that Welspun is jointly advised by J Sagar Associates partner Somshekhar Sundaresan and Crawford Bayley & Co partner Sanjay Asher.

Although only Ackruti was a party and beneficiary to the most SAT appeal it is understood that the other companies are monitoring the outcome of the case.

On 3 December Ackruti shares had sunk 20 per cent to Rs 307.25, the lowest since it debuted trading on 7 Feb 2007.

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