What does an Insider mean?

Insider means any person who is

(i) A connected person; or

(ii) in possession of or having access to unpublished price sensitive information.

The definition of insider in Regulation 2015 is also widened; which states any one in possession of or having access to unpublished price sensitive information should be considered an ‘insider’ regardless of how one came in possession of or had access to such information as the ‘generally available information’ has already been defined.

Any information reasonably designed to provide broad as well as non-discriminatory dissemination of the information to the public at large would not be considered to be the inside or price sensitive information.

It can be argued that any information which is restricted to a particular region or place say for e.g. information contained or published in a regional newspaper may not be considered to be generally available as it is not available to public at large. Thus, any information which is not accessible to the public on a non-discriminatory basis would be deemed to contain price sensitive information and any one in possession of it would be termed as an ‘insider’. Further, the onus of showing that a certain person was in possession of or had access to unpublished price sensitive information at the time of trading would therefore be on the person levelling the charge.

Order of SEBI

“The PSI regarding the slump sale of software solutions business to Kewill group came into existence on September 18, 2012, the day when the non-disclosure agreement was executed between Kewill group and PTL. The non-disclosure agreement (having a confidentiality clause) was a binding contract on both the sides. Disclosure of the agreement would certainly have an impact on the deal. Therefore, the same can be considered to be an ‘unpublished price sensitive information’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘UPSI’) which had definitely originated on September 18, 2012 and the same had remained unpublished till August 10, 2013 at 13.01 hours in terms of the Regulation 2(ha) (vi) of the PTI Regulations. The period of such UPSI was from September 18, 2012 to August 10, 2013.”

Judgement

As per Section 19 read with Sections 11(1), 11(4)(d) and 11(B) of the SEBI Act, 1992, the watchdog SEBI has ordered impounding of the “alleged unlawful gains of a sum of Rs 2,22,14,383  from the date of buy transactions to January 31, 2016, jointly and severally from the above persons.

This judgement makes it clear that one should be very careful while trading with another in case they are friends or they have friends in common over any social media platforms.