In a landmark judgement, the Securities Appellate Tribunal on Friday cleared Samir Arora, former fund manager at Alliance Capital Management, from charges of insider trading, involvement in unfair and fraudulent trade practices and professional misconduct.
The tribunal said in its order, "It is not possible for us (tribunal) to let mere suspicions, conjectures and hypothesis take place of evidence as described in the Indian Evidence Act."
In its 100 page order, SAT presiding officer Justice K Rajaratnam and members B Samal and N K Lakhanpal said that Securities and Exchange Board of India could not produce adequate evidence to prove charges against Arora.
The tribunal has no hesitation in exonerating Arora of all charges, SAT said in its order which overruled Sebi's last year order banning Arora from the capital market.
Referring to the charge of Arora's involvement in insider trading in the scrip of Digital Global Ltd (DGL), SAT said it has come to conclusion that even the price sensitive data which Arora is alleged to have somehow accessed did not turn out to be correct as the merger of DGL and Hewlett Packard was not announced on May 12, 2003.
"There has to be independent evidence in support of this charge (insider trading). There is none of that in the Sebi order; we therefore hold this charge as not proved," SAT said.