SEBI dismisses officer for gross misconduct

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SEBIThe officer Rajesh Pratap Singh, who was an assistant general manager in the eastern regional office of Sebi at Kolkata, was dismissed from service through an order dated 28 January 2014 after a thorough inquiry against him. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

Capital markets watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has dismissed a senior officer from service after he was found guilty of “gross misconduct” and charged him for accepting bribe and amassing huge disproportionate assets.The officer Rajesh Pratap Singh, who was an assistant general manager in the eastern regional office of Sebi at Kolkata, was dismissed from service through an order dated 28 January 2014 after a thorough inquiry against him, a senior official said.

The action was taken by Sebi after taking into account all materials available on record and his reply to a show-cause notice in terms of the Sebi (Employees’ Service) Regulations, 2001 and such dismissal ordinarily acts as a disqualification for future employment also.Singh was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Kolkata, on 31 January 2010 for demanding and accepting illegal gratification of Rs25 lakh from a senior executive of Rose Valley, which was later found guilty by Sebi of running illicit money-pooling activities.

Consequently, a case was registered against Singh by CBI, while Sebi had placed his services under suspension through an office order dated 1 February 2010 with immediate effect.Later on 18 February 2010, CBI registered another case against him, wherein it was alleged that Singh, while working as assistant general manager at Sebi eastern region office in Kolkata from 18 December 1995 to 13 February 2010, had amassed huge assets disproportionate to his known sources of income in his own name and in the name of his family members which he cannot satisfactorily account.

Amid these developments, Sebi decided to hold an inquiry against Singh and a memorandum was issued to him in November 2012 for holding an inquiry, enclosing therewith the articles of charges and the statement of imputations of misconduct (illegal gratification and possession and non-disclosure of assets disproportionate to his known source of income).

Subsequently, an inquiry officer was appointed to inquire into the charges against Singh. On completion of the inquiry proceedings, the inquiry officer submitted the report dated 29 November 2013.After going through the inquiry report, Sebi issued a show-cause notice to Singh on 26 December 2013, asking him to explain why he should not be dismissed from service.

Upon consideration of Singh’s reply and the materials available on record, an order was issued for his dismissal last week.