SEBI has imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crore on NDTV for its failure to disclose "price-sensitive information" on loan agreements with Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Limited to public shareholders, the Hindu reported.
The report said: "The loan agreements had clauses and conditions that substantially affected the functioning of the media company, SEBI said in its order."
SEBI's order added that the VCPL loan agreements, therefore, "are required to be disclosed to stock exchanges for dissemination to the public so that public shareholders and prospective shareholders could have taken an informed decision regarded their dealing in the shares [of NDTV]".
NDTV will "appeal urgently" against the order.
According to the Hindu, NDTV's filing said: "NDTV was not a party to this arrangement and it disclosed these agreements in 2015 in response to media reports that speculated change in control. The core issue of the alleged surrender of control to VCPL is pending adjudication at the Securities Appellate Tribunal, which, in 2019, granted a stay in favour of the founders of NDTV, which is still in operation."
In 2009-10, NDTV's holding company, Radhika Roy Prannoy Roy Private Limited, had received a loan of Rs 403.85 crore from Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Limited, a shell company. Vishvapradhan had received a loan of Rs 403.85 crore from Shinano Retail (fully owned by Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings) which, in turn, received a loan of Rs 403.85 crore from Reliance Ventures limited (a subsidiary Reliance Industries).
On April 28, 2017, Sanjay Dutt — a former financial consultant with NDTV and Director of stockbroking firm Quantum Securities — wrote to CBI Director Alok K Verma "humbly requesting" him to take action on the 15-point allegations he makes against promoters of NDTV, management of ICICI bank and benami persons.