Chief Justice Chandrachud Cautions SEBI on Market Surge

In a significant address today, the Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, urged the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) to exercise caution in response to the soaring equity markets. The call for prudence came during the inauguration of the new SAT premises.

As the Bombay Stock Exchange crossed the landmark 80,000 points, marking what many consider a stratospheric leap in the Indian financial market, CJI Chandrachud highlighted the increased responsibilities of financial regulators. “With great surges in the stock market come great responsibilities for bodies like SEBI and SAT to maintain stability and ensure that everyone remains composed amidst the celebrations,” he remarked.

The Chief Justice also stressed the need for expanding the SAT to handle the growing volume of transactions and the complexities introduced by new regulations. “The higher workload and the increased number of transactions necessitate more benches to keep the tribunal’s backbone stable,” he stated.

Acknowledging the euphoria surrounding the market’s current highs, CJI Chandrachud emphasized the role of regulatory bodies in fostering a stable investment environment that can spur economic growth. “Investors need assurances that their investments are protected by law and that robust dispute resolution mechanisms are in place. This not only attracts more investment but also leads to capital formation, job creation, and sustained economic growth,” he explained.

In his speech, the Chief Justice described the SAT as a referee in the fiercely competitive financial world, ensuring that all parties adhere to the rules. He also highlighted the urgent need to fill existing vacancies at SAT to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness.

CJI Chandrachud, reflecting on his initial days as a lawyer at SAT, referred to the inauguration as a “homecoming.” He later remarked to journalists that the decision to create more SAT benches is a policy matter and should be considered by the relevant authorities.

Justice PS Dinesh Kumar of the SAT reported that the tribunal currently has 1,028 pending appeals and has resolved over 6,700 since its inception in 1997. He also welcomed the Chief Justice’s push for more resources and modernization.

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Further underscoring the importance of timely judicial action, CJI Chandrachud cited a recent five-bench judgment that was expedited to correct a critical financial regulation matter.

The event also marked the launch of a new SAT website developed by the National Informatics Centre. The Chief Justice took this opportunity to stress the importance of incorporating technology in justice delivery systems to redefine access to justice in the digital age.

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