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Get complaints tracked, settled online

Last updated on: June 7, 2011 13:43 IST

Get complaints tracked, settled online

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Ashish Rukhaiyar & Tania Kishore Jaleel in Mumbai

Sebi's new web-based complaint system should improve redressal, say experts.

Stock market investors who wish to file complaints against listed entities with the capital market regulator would now be able to do it through the online route.

This mechanism, titled 'SCORES', is to also draw in companies to address investor complaints through the web.

The system is a centralised database of all complaints, wherein the investor is to be enabled to view the current status and action taken.

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The Securities and Exchange Board of India got 32,200 investor complaints in 2009-10. In 2008-09, there were 57,580.

It has recorded 2.7 million since its inception and says it had redressed 2.5 million cases till 2009-10.

Complaints are generally related to the issue and the transfer of securities and non-payment of dividend by listed companies.

Sebi also takes up grievances against the various intermediaries registered with it and related issues.

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Some of the grievances redressed are on on refund orders, non-receipt of dividends, of share certificates after transfer, derivatives trading, corporate governance and so on.

According to a Sebi circular issued last Friday, all complaints pertaining to companies will be electronically sent through SCORES at  http://scores.gov.in/Admin

The companies are required to view the complaints pending against them and give action taken reports, along with supporting documents, electronically in SCORES.

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A failure by a company to update the ATR in SCORES will be treated as a non-redressal, said the regulator.

In cases, where the complaints are processed by a registrar to issue or share transfer agent (RTI/STA) on behalf of the company, the company will have to indicate whether they require the facility to forward complaints to the RTI/STA, so that the ATRs can be uploaded by them.

In such cases, the name of the RTI/STA, the name of the compliance officer and email identity has to be furnished.

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Currently, an investor can file a physical complaint with the regulator, who would then follow it up with the company.
Thereafter, checking the status is a cumbersome process.

A K Narayan, president of the Tamil Nadu Investor Association,commended the move.

"Right now, once you file it (a complaint), you are not aware of its status and where it is stuck.

With SCORES, one can see online the exact status."

Some felt though online redressal was a good step, it would take time to catch on, because many investors are not familiar with the technology.

Rajesh Tedia, secretary at Bombay Shareholders Association, questions, "How many people are tech savvy or even own a computer out of the one crore investors in the country? This is will be beneficial for those who are tech savvy."

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At present, investor complaints are maintained at various divisions and regional offices of Sebi.

Complaints are also received in various physical and electronic formats.

This leads to a lot of time lag between receipt of the complaint and its redressal.

The problem of storage and the risk of loss or misplacement of records is also sought to be addressed through conversion of all physical complaints into the electronic format.



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