The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), this week said it has issued a severe reprimand on Harshith Dharmadasa, Director, Nawaloka Group of Companies after charges for stock market manipulation against him were withdrawn by the Commission on the advice of the Attorney General (AG).
The SEC withdrew charges against Mr. Dharmadasa subject to a severe reprimand with the sanction of Court recently in the case which was filed against him on charges of market manipulation in relation to the shares of Nawaloka Hospitals Ltd.
The Sunday Times FT on October 3 exclusively reported the SEC decision and the withdrawal of the case. The SEC statement said Mr. Dharmadasa along with eight others were charged in the Magistrate's Court Fort for alleged market manipulation in respect of the shares of Nawaloka Hospitals Ltd for pushing the price of a share up from Rs. 2 to Rs.9 after a share split within a short period of time.
The charges against Mr Dharmadasa related to an alleged conspiracy to commit acts to create a misleading appearance of an active market in relation to the price of securities of Nawaloka Hospitals and for allegedly committing acts to create a misleading/false appearance of an active market for the price of shares of Nawaloka Hospitals Ltd, a public listed company.
"The Attorney General taking into consideration that the Chairman of the Company Mr. Jayantha Dharmadasa had accepted responsibility and compounded the offence for a sum of Rs. 3.3 million taken together with the facts and circumstances of the case, advised the SEC that discontinuing proceedings against Mr. Harshith Dharmadasa upon issuing a severe reprimand would not jeopardize the interests of justice," the statement said. However the trial will be continued against the remaining accused whose offences have not been compounded.