August 1, 2023

Penalties under the Securities Contract Regulation Act, 1956

The Securities Contract Regulation Act, 1956 (SCRA) is a vital legislation in India that regulates the securities market. It aims to ensure fair and transparent trading practices, protect investor interests, and maintain the integrity of the securities market. The SCRA imposes penalties for various offences and violations to deter individuals and entities from engaging in unlawful activities. In this article, we will explore the penalties under the Securities Contract Regulation Act, 1956.


The SCRA plays a significant role in maintaining the integrity and stability of the securities market in India. It provides a regulatory framework to govern securities contracts, including stocks, shares, debentures, and other financial instruments. To ensure compliance with the SCRA, penalties are prescribed for various offences and violations.

Offences and Penalties under the SCRA

Insider Trading

Insider trading refers to the buying or selling of securities based on non-public material information. It is prohibited under the SCRA, and individuals found guilty of insider trading can face penalties. The penalty for insider trading can include imprisonment and monetary fines, which may be substantial.

Manipulative and Fraudulent Practices

Engaging in manipulative and fraudulent practices in the securities market is a serious offense. Such practices can include price manipulation, spreading false rumors, creating artificial trading activity, or other deceptive activities. Violators can face penalties, including imprisonment and fines.

Non-Compliance with Regulations

Non-compliance with the regulations prescribed under the SCRA can lead to penalties. These regulations may include requirements related to disclosure, reporting, filing of documents, and adherence to market norms. The penalties for non-compliance can vary, depending on the severity of the violation.

False Statements and Misrepresentation

Making false statements or misrepresentations in connection with securities transactions is an offence under the SCRA. Individuals found guilty of providing false information or misrepresenting material facts can face penalties, including imprisonment and fines.

Failure to Furnish Information

The SCRA empowers regulatory authorities to seek information from market participants. Failure to furnish the required information or providing false information can attract penalties. These penalties may include fines and other disciplinary actions.

Other Violations

The SCRA covers a wide range of offences and violations related to securities trading. These can include unauthorised trading, front-running, market manipulation, unauthorised access to computer systems, and more. Penalties for such violations can be severe, with consequences including imprisonment, fines, and other regulatory actions.

Adjudication and Enforcement

The enforcement of penalties under the SCRA is carried out by regulatory authorities such as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the designated courts. These authorities have the power to investigate offences, impose penalties, and take legal action against violators. The adjudication process ensures that penalties are imposed in a fair and transparent manner, following due process of law.


The Securities Contract Regulation Act, 1956, establishes a robust framework for regulating the securities market in India. It aims to maintain market integrity, protect investor interests, and deter unlawful activities. The penalties prescribed under the SCRA act as a deterrent and help ensure compliance with the provisions of the legislation. Market participants, including individuals and entities, should be aware of their obligations under the SCRA to avoid penalties and contribute to a fair and transparent securities market.


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