September 16, 2002
PR No. 185/2002

Judgment of the Bombay High Court in the matter of 


Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had launched criminal prosecution against Hindustan Lever Ltd. (HLL) and its directors in November 1998 by filing a criminal complaint in a Metropolitan Magistrate's court in Mumbai. This prosecution was launched for violation of SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 1992 in the course of merger of Brook Bond India Ltd. with HLL. 

However, the magistrate before whom the complaint was filed, had not taken a decision in the matter for the last more than three years. The matter continued to be adjourned for the last three years. 

Aggrieved by the inordinate and abnormal delay in taking cognizance of the offence against the accused by the magistrate, SEBI filed a Criminal Writ Petition in the Bombay High Court on August 14, 2002.

The Bombay High Court allowed the writ petition filed by SEBI and directed the magistrate to proceed in the matter without any further delay.