NCLT gives Zeel time till 22 Oct to file reply to Invesco plea

NCLT gives Zeel time till 22 Oct to file reply to Invesco plea

The deadline for the reply submission was extended after the NCLAT verdict.


Mumbai: The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Friday gave Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) time till 22 October to file its reply to a plea by its shareholder, according to a report by PTI. The decision was taken after the company approached National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) which declared that ‘reasonable and sufficient opportunity’ should be given to Zeel to respond to the investor’s plea.

Zeel had approached the appellate body challenging the NCLT order dated 5 October which asked the company to submit its reply to the investor’s demand for calling an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) by Thursday.

The NCLT hearing had been deferred to Friday after the NCLAT reserved its order on the plea until later in the evening on Thursday.

Zeel two top investors Invesco Developing Markets Fund and OFI Global China Fund LLC who combined own 18 per cent stake in the company had sent a requisition notice to Zeel on 11 September to call an EGM even after two weeks, the investors moved to NCLT, citing provisions of Company Law, according to which the company is bound to call for an EGM within a specific number of days, if stakeholder demanding it owns more than 10 per cent of the company.

The investors had also sought the removal of long-standing directors and close associates of the Chandra family from the board. The two independent directors Ashok Kurien and Manish Chokhani have already submitted their resignations.  

The investors moved to have six nominees appointed to the board of Zeel, which included Surendra Singh Sirohi, Naina Krishna Murthy, Rohan Dhamija, Aruna Sharma, Srnivasa Rao Addepali and Gaurav Mehta as independent directors of the board for a term up to five consecutive years. The notice was received by Zeel on 12 September, and it informed the stock exchanges on 13 September, adding that the appointments are subject to approval by the ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B).

Last week, Zeel refused to conduct the EGM citing ‘shareholders interest,' and moved to Bombay high court seeking to declare the requisition notice as ‘illegal and invalid.'