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On 4th July 2022, SEBI introduced changes in the Investor Grievance Redressal Mechanism for Stock Exchanges, including Commodity Derivatives Exchanges/ regulated depositories. The SEBI circular SEBI/HO/MRD1/ICC1/CIR/P/2022/94 has made reference to different Redressal Mechanism, Arbitration Mechanism in Stock Exchange, and Comprehensive Framework for Investor Grievance Redressal Mechanism. The Investor Grievance Redressal Mechanism framework provides efficient services to the investors and effectively addresses the grievances of the investors in a time-bound manner.
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Securities Board of Exchange of India has implemented an online SEBI Complaints Redress System (SCORES) to enable investors to lodge their complaints related to the capital market, against SEBI listed companies and registered intermediaries.
SCORES is an online platform designed and launched by the securities markets regulator SEBI in June 2011 to help concerned investors to lodge their complaints online with respect to the issues that are covered under the SEBI Act, Securities Contract Regulation Act (SCRA), Depositories Act, and rules and regulations framed under the provisions of the Companies Act. All complaints received by SEBI against listed companies and registered intermediaries under SEBI are dealt through SCORES.
For an investor to lodge a complaint on SCORES, the following personal details must be compulsorily provided by a complainant:
The SEBI circular has listed the following features ofthe SEBI Complaint Redressal System are:
According to the circular, The SEBI has asked All Regulated Stock Exchanges and Commodity Derivative Exchanges/ Depositories to put an online complaint redressal system in place within 6 months from the date of the issuance of the SEBI circular. The newly introduced Investor Grievance Redressal System is intended to expedite the redressal process or speedy disposal of investors’ complaints.
The online redressal system would also end the need for physical movement of complaints. Further,reducing the possibility of loss and damage caused to the physical complaints would be avoided entirely. This would also facilitate easy access and tracking of grievance complaints.
SEBI has advised All Recognized Stock Exchanges including Commodity Derivatives Exchanges/Depositories, to widely publicise (on website of the Exchanges) their online web-based complaints redressal system (Investor Grievance Redressal System).
During the COVID-19 pandemic, stock exchanges were advised to conduct the complaints/GRC/ Arbitration/ Appellate Arbitration process online (hearings/meetings) for speedy redressals. It was observed that the online process saves cost and time of the parties, which is in the best interest of the investors.
Hence, SEBI has asked stock exchanges to continue with the hybrid mode of conducting GRC and arbitration or appellate arbitration process, i.e. online and offline.And the depositories will also have to follow the hybrid mode.
Some changes are brought in through an amendment in SEBI Circular no. SEBI/HO/DMS/CIR/P/2017/15 dated February 23,2017, for speeding up and strengthening the Investor Grievance Redressal Mechanism.
The circular revised and exceeded the earlier claim amount limit from Rs 10 lakh to RS. 20 lakh. If the claim amount of dispute is less than or equal to Rs. 20 lakh, then aggrieved investor, either complainant or respondent is exempted from paying the arbitration fee and the exchange will pay the same on behalf of the investor.
Exchanges have to take appropriate steps to make the investors aware of the changes mentioned above/ modifications and make necessary changes to the bye-laws, rules, and regulations for implementing the changes made through the SEBI Circular.
Read our Article: RBI Grievance Redressal Mechanism in Banks: A Framework
Raghvendra Sonker has completed his Graduation from Gujarat National Law University. He has a keen interest in legal drafting, writing articles, and research papers. His core interest areas are Banking and Financial Issues.
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