Insider Trading: Circumstantial Evidence is Evidence Enough?

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—Rajat Sethi, Misha Chandna, and Aditi Agarwal

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (‘SEBI’) is under constant pressure to secure the integrity of the securities market while also ensuring that development of the securities market is not deterred by its overreach. Accordingly, striking the right balance in respect of punitive measures against persons accused of insider trading and the standard of proof required for establishing such offence assumes significance. In this context, this article examines the role of circumstantial evidence in proving violations of insider trading norms and the evolution of this role, particularly in light of SEBI’s recent order in a matter involving an ex-employee of Morgan Stanley India Company Private Limited (a SEBI-registered merchant banker)

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