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The Delhi High Court Tuesday dismissed a plea of DLF Ltd. challenging an order of market regulator SEBI to probe accusations by a Delhi-based businessman that he was duped of Rs.34 crore by the realty major and its alleged associate firm Sudipti Estates. A Rs.2 lakh cost was also imposed on DLF.

DLF had sought quashing of the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) order issued Oct 20, 2011, for investigation into the allegations K.K. Sinha made in 2007 against it and Sudipti Estates.

Justice Vipin Sanghi said: “The board is the sole authority created by law to deal with complex issues which arise in the management and supervision of the securities markets. Any such restrictions, artificially introduced, would denude the board of its powers and hamper its functioning.”

The judge imposed a cost of Rs.2 lakh on DLF and said: “I dismiss the writ petition with cost quantified at Rs.2 lakh to be paid within four weeks.”

“I reject the submission of the petitioner that the board has taken into consideration the extraneous or irrelevant material while passing the impugned order,” Justice Sanghi said.

Senior advocate Soli Sorabji, appearing for DLF, earlier argued that the SEBI order was passed “erroneously and in blatant non-compliance with the principle of natural justice” as the realty firm was not provided an opportunity to present its case before the market regulator.

No notice was issued and documents against the firm were presented without any information, he said.

Additional Solicitor General Parag Tripathi, appearing for the SEBI, said that when a regulatory body passed an administrative order to form a prima facie opinion, there was no need to provide an opportunity to other parties to be heard.



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