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CNBC Awaaz terminates Stock 20-20 host Hemant Ghai

SEBI found him violating its securities market regulations by making biased recommendations.

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NEW DELHI: The Network18 Group has terminated stocks editor & anchor Hemant Ghai, the co-host of Stock 20-20 which airs on its Hindi business news channel CNBC Awaaz, as a consequence of an order passed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) against him for violating stock market regulations. 

The network, in a statement, said, “All employees of Network18 are required to pledge themselves to a code of conduct which, among other things, expressly forbids the manipulation of prices of listed securities. Mr Ghai was also a signatory to the code of conduct. Network18 takes its commitment to honesty and integrity seriously. We will not tolerate any behaviour which does not conform to the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct.”

It was alleged that Ghai used to recommend the shares of the stocks that he would have already purchased (in the names of his wife and mother) on the show, which resulted in the same stocks getting sold out, leading to increase in price. Through such activities, they violated the provisions of SEBI's (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices) Regulations.

“By purchasing shares in the accounts of Jaya Hemant Ghai and Shyam Mohini Ghai for which buy recommendation is given, with the advance information of buy recommendation and thereafter selling the same as soon as the market opens on the recommendation day unfairly taking advantage of the price and volume rise post recommendation is a fraud played upon the market and the viewers of the show. The viewers of the Show trust the recommendation made in the Show without realising the scheme has been devised for their personal gains," the SEBI order said.

SEBI has also restrained Ghai from undertaking any activity related to giving investment advice, sell or buy recommendations, publishing of research reports etc, related to the securities market, till further directions. Additionally, the bank accounts of his mother and wife have been frozen, along with his. 

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