SEBI bans Manpasand Beverages; imposes Rs 68 lakh fine – Know details

SEBI has barred Manpasand Beverages (MBL) along with its three top officials from the securities market for manipulating and mis-stating the company’s financial statements, imposing a penalty of Rs 68 lakh on them. 

The regulator in its order has said that the financial statements of the company for FY 2019 and FY 2020 were manipulated and mis-stated. “The financial statements of MBL for 2018-19 and 2019-20 were manipulated and the figures contained therein were significantly mis-stated.This led to publication of manipulated, untrue and misleading financial results of the company during 2018-19 and 2019-20, which presented a false picture of the financial health of the company to investors,” SEBI Whole Time Member Ashwani Bhatia said.

The three top officials restrained by SEBI are Dhirendra Singh, promoter, chairman and managing director; Abhishek Singh, promoter and executive director; and Paresh Thakkar, chief financial officer. 

Company along with the three officials have been fined Rs 17 lakh each, which needs to be paid within a period of 45 days, SEBI said. In addition to this, the three top officials have also been prohibited from holding positions of director or key managerial personnel in any listed public company or any registered intermediary registered with SEBI for five years.

Milind Babar and Chirag Doshi, the company’s former independent directors were also fined Rs 2 lakh each while current independent directors, Nishish Mobar and Bharti Naik, were fined Rs 1 lakh each.

Chronology of the case:

  • The complaints were received in September 2019 from Bipin Rathod, then chairman of MBL’s audit committee. 
  • Afterwards, SEBI investigated to ascertain possible manipulation or misrepresentation in the accounting records. 
  • Further, SEBI appointed Choksi & Choksi LLP to conduct a forensic audit of the financial statements of FY19 and FY20.
  • SEBI in its order found that MBL had deficiencies in internal controls and had published misleading financial statements for 2016-17 and 2017-18.

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