Supreme Court on Friday sought to know from the Centre and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) about the status of 1538 cases of banned Ponzi schemes which have been referred to other agencies for investigations.
A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud asked the government and the market regulator to file affidavits giving the details of such cases and action taken thereof.
Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh said SEBI had passed interim orders against 299 entities, including 76 Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) and 223 Deemed Public Issues (DPI).
He said over 1000 cases, which do not fall under the jurisdiction of SEBI, have been transferred to other agencies which have jurisidiction over them. Advocate Prashant Bhushan appearing for NGO 'Humanity Salt Lake' alleged inaction on the part of the government in regulating chit fund schemes resulting in multiple scams across the country.
He said that despite regulations being in place, these were not implemented properly and SEBI should be directed to investigate all the cases.
"The regulations are there and SEBI Act has also been amended. We cannot burden SEBI with all the cases. Whatever job Parliament has decided to give, it is being done and what has been given to others, they will do," the bench said.
It said if the petitioner has any objection with regard to any work not done properly, then a representation could be made to the concerned authority to highlight the issues.
SEBI in its affidavit had earlier informed the apex court that ponzi schemes did not fall under its regulatory purview and only the state governments concerned can control them.
The stock market regulator had also said banned activities cannot be regulated by any regulator and just be stopped if it is intimated about such schemes or it takes suo motu cognisance.