This recognizes the fact that open offers are made for the benefit of the shareholders of the target, and hence they must be pursued to their logical conclusion without any hindrances.
It does not matter whether the offer is voluntary or mandatory – both stand on the same footing. It is not as if the voluntary nature of the offer will provide any leeway to the offer. Once the offer is made, the offeror effectively reaches a point of no return.
It must be remembered that SEBI is the watchdog of the Securities Market. It is the guardian of the interest of the shareholders. It is the protective shield against unscrupulous practices in the Securities Market. Therefore, SEBI like any other body, which is established as a watchdog, ought not to act in a lackadaisical manner in the performance of its duties. The time frame stipulated by the Act and the Takeover Regulations for performing certain functions is required to be maintained to establish the transparency in the functioning of SEBI.
In the process, it is the offeree shareholders who suffer. It is with this in mind that regulators in other jurisdictions such as the UK and Singapore [with the Takeover Panel and the Securities Industry Council (SIC) respectively] follow a more informal approach towards takeover regulation whereby the regulators adopt a more practical attitude to ensure efficiency and timely progress of the takeover offer. Similarly, it would augur well for takeover offers in India to be completed within a tight timeframe from their announcement, without any delays, particularly from the regulatory standpoint.