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SC dismisses PIL against Sebi chief U K Sinha’s appointment

The  Supreme Court on Friday upheld the appointment of U K Sinha as Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) chairman, saying it was done by the government fairly and in accordance with the procedure of the law.

A bench of justices S S Nijjar and P C Ghose dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the appointment of Sinha, observing that the petition was not maintainable on various grounds but it had decided to hear it as the appointment to a very senior position was challenged.
‘It (the appointment) was done fairly and in accordance with law,’ the court said.

The PIL was filed by one Arun Kumar Aggarwal on whose case the apex court had on 26 September, last year issued notice to the Centre and Sebi and had also impleaded president's secretary Omita Paul, who was adviser to the then Finance Minister when the decision to appoint Sinha as Sebi chairman was taken.

Aggarwal had contended that Sinha's appointment was ‘malafide and a result of deep-rooted conspiracy’.

He had submitted that the process of selection of Sebi chairman was interfered with due to which incumbent C B Bhave was refused extension and Sinha was given the post. It was contended that Sinha had not even applied for the position.

The PIL had claimed that all the authorities concerned, including the then Finance Minister, had approved Bhave's extension and the file was sent to appointments committee but was called back to the ministry and proceedings for Sinha's appointment was then initiated.
Sinha had opposed the PIL, saying it is ‘motivated’.
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