Sebi Bars TV Host Pradeep Pandya, 7 Others From Securities Market for 5 Years

Markets regulator Sebi on Tuesday barred television host Pradeep Pandya and seven other entities from accessing the securities market for five years and imposed a total fine of Rs 2.6 crore for indulging in fraudulent trading practices.

Apart from Pandya, who anchored stock market shows on CNBC Awaaz till August 2021, those prohibited by Sebi include Alpesh Furiya, Manish Furiya, Alpa Furiya and their respective Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) entities, as well as two firms – Mahan Investment and Toshee Trade.

Sebi found that Pandya had shared confidential information regarding upcoming stock recommendations on his show ‘Pandya Ka Funda’ with Alpesh Furiya, who appeared as a guest expert recommending stocks.

Furiya, in turn, executed trades through his accounts and related entities in synchronization with Pandya’s televised recommendations, positioning himself to profit before the information was public.

“Pradeep Pandya, while serving as an anchor for CNBC Awaaz, shared confidential information regarding upcoming stock recommendations with Alpesh Furiya and vice-versa,” Sebi noted in its 55-page order.

The regulator analysed call records and trading patterns between November 2019 to January 2021, establishing a “high correlation” between Pandya’s recommendations and the buy-today-sell-tomorrow and intraday trades by Furiya’s group.

Sebi determined this amounted to exploiting an “information asymmetry” and violating rules against fraudulent and unfair trade practices.

Accordingly, Pandya and Alpesh Furiya have been fined Rs 1 crore each, while the six other entities face penalties of Rs 10 lakh each.

Additionally, Alpesh Furiya’s group has been directed to disgorge remaining unlawful gains of Rs 2.34 crore out of the total Rs 10.73 crore made through the fraudulent trades. Another individual, Opu Funikant Nag, who received stock tips from Furiya, has been asked to disgorge gains of Rs 10.2 lakh.

The stringent action reinforces Sebi’s stance against any misuse of privileged information and unfair trading practices undermining market integrity.

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