Television

NDTV promoters get stay on SEBI order banning them from security market

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MUMBAI: An order that was passed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), barring New Delhi Television (NDTV) promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy from holding managerial positions at the news television network, was stayed by the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT).

The order in the matter of NDTV pertains to a Rs 350-crore loan taken by holding company RRPR Holding from ICICI Bank, which was later liquidated by taking two more loans from Vishvapradhan Commercial (VCPL). The loan taken from VCPL was interest-free for 10 years on the condition that VCPL would have a right of first refusal on 50 per cent of NDTV shares in the event they were sold in the market. The loan agreement had certain call options for transfer of 30 per cent of RRPR shareholding at a price of around Rs 215 per share, according to reports.

Sebi, in its order dated 14 June, said the loan agreement was nothing but a sham agreement, and violated disclosure norms. SAT heard the arguments that were being stated by the counsels for Sebi and the Roys. According to the tribunal, various allegations made in the Sebi order had to be considered in detail.

Sat also directed the Roys to not alienate or create any encumbrance on their shareholding in NDTV till further orders.

“We find the whole world knows about the impugned order except the appellants. To date, they have not been supplied a copy of the impugned order despite the oral direction given by this tribunal yesterday (Monday)... Their liability and their onerous duty does not end the moment they upload the order on their website. The first duty is to supply a copy of the impugned order to the aggrieved party, which, in the instant case, has not been done to date,” said SAT.

The tribunal pulled up Sebi for not supplying a copy of the order to the Roys.

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