P Notes Regulated Under the Law HC

Delhi High Court on Thursday said that Participatory Notes (PNotes) are not illegal and were regulated under the law. The ruling by a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva came while dismissing a PIL, which had claimed that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had wrongly made a statement that P-Notes were not illegal and sought action against him.

The court passed the order after Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain told the bench that P-Notes are part of Offshore Derivative Instruments (ODI) which are issued by or on behalf of Foreign Portfolio In vestors (FPI) and are “generated, operated and destroyed“ outside India.

The ASG also said that P-Notes were regulated instruments and placed before the court the Sebi (FPI) Regulations.

After going through the regulations, the court ob served, “it appears that ODIs include P-Notes and such other instru ments which are entered into by FPIs in relation to securities listed or proposed to be listed in stock exchanges in India“.

It also said that FPIs were functioning under a regulated regime.

With regard to the minister's statement, the court said he had only stated no knee-jerk reaction would be taken with regard to stipulating or not stipulating any norms stricter than those already in place under the Sebi regulations on FPI.

The court also said that the special investigative team set up by Supreme Court to probe the black money issue had only suggested stricter norms for regulating P-Notes.

The court said that since the entire premise of the PIL by advocate ML Sharma was based on the premise that P-Notes were “illegal“ and not regulated, his plea has no merit.

The court, however, did not impose any costs upon Sharma after he withdrew the personal allegations and innuendos he had made in the petition against the minister.

The Economic Times, New Delhi, 18th Sept. 2015

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