Amid a major crackdown on alleged leak of classified documents from petroleum ministry, capital markets watchdog Sebi on Friday warned it will take stern action if such stolen information was being used in the markets.
Cracking down on a suspected case of corporate espionage, Delhi police has arrested five persons, including two Ministry officials and some middlemen, in connection with the alleged leak of classified government documents to private sector companies for money.
There have been reports that these leaked documents could also have been used for trading in the stock markets, although there are no official words on this.
When asked whether Sebi is looking into the matter, Sebi Chairman U K Sinha today said he does not have any specific details on the issue, but if there was any truth in the allegations, the regulator will take stern action.
"I am hearing it for the first time from you people that the stolen information was allegedly used for trading in the market. We have an integrated surveillance department. If there is an iota of truth in that, my people would already be on working on that," Sinha said.
Trades conducted on the basis of such confidential information, which would qualify as Unpublished Price Sensitive Information (UPSI), could amount to illegal insider trading as well as unfair and fraudulent activities.
He was speaking on the sidelines of an event organised by Sebi-promoted National Institute of Securities Management (NISM) at its upcoming campus at Patalganga near Mumbai.
There have been reports that the probe into the alleged leaking of confidential information could be expanded to other key economic ministries as well, while the leaked documents could also include those related to the budget preparation.