The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has decided to debar Vivek Kudva, head of Asia Pacific for Franklin Templeton, and his spouse Roopa Kudva from the capital markets for a year besides imposing monetary penalty for redeeming investments based on "non public information" and "unfair trade practice".
It has declined to charge them with "fraud". Roopa Kudva is partner and managing director at impact investment firm Omidyar that has backed startups such as 1mg and WhiteHat Jr.
SEBI in a notification noted that the husband-wife duo and Vivek Kudva's mother Vasanthi redeemed their personal investments from the beleaguered six debt schemes of Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund based on confidential and non-public information.
Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund had decided to shut six debt schemes on April 23, 2020 by suspending redemptions for more than 300,000 investors. The Kudvas had redeemed their investments before the decision was taken.
SEBI said that Vivek Kudva and Roopa Kudva will be restrained from accessing the securities market for a period of one year. They shall also not liquidate their existing holding of securities including the units of mutual funds.
Further, Vivek Kudva shall be liable to pay a monetary penalty of Rs 4 crore for the redemptions undertaken on his own behalf and on behalf of his mother who died last month. Roopa Kudva shall be liable to pay a penalty of Rs 3 crore.
An email sent to Omidyar and Roopa Kudva did not elicit an immediate response.