‘We are a struggling news channel, we are hit very badly’: NDTV promoters appeal before Supreme Court

SEBI had imposed a penalty of Rs 27 crore on Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy and RRPR Holding Limited. In court, they agreed to furnish shares as security.

ByNL Team
‘We are a struggling news channel, we are hit very badly’: NDTV promoters appeal before Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court on Thursday considered the appeals filed by NDTV promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy against an order of the Securities Appellate Tribunal which had directed them to pay 50 percent of their "wrongful gains" from "insider trading", Live Law reported.

On November 27, markets regulator SEBI had barred NDTV's promoters - the Roys and RRPR Holding Limited - from the securities market for two years. SEBI also directed them to pay over Rs 16.97 crore allegedly made through insider trading between 2006 and 2008. In response, NDTV said SEBI's order was "based on an inaccurate assessment of facts" and that the company would appeal against it.

In December, SEBI imposed a total penalty of Rs 27 crore on NDTV's promoters.

On January 4, the Securities Appellate Tribunal declined to grant a complete stay and directed the Roys to deposit 50 percent of the penalty within four weeks.

In court today, advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the Roys, argued that since the showcause notice had been issued 10 years after the transaction, it was "hopelessly barred by time", LiveLaw reported.

"The transaction is of 2007, and the notice was issued in 2018," Rohtagi said. "The allegation is that my clients, who originally owned 100 percent of the shareholding of NDTV, have disinvested and now only 52 percent."

Bar and Bench reported that Rohtagi told the court that "NDTV is a struggling news channel with no other resources and the only guarantee it can provide is the shares of the channel".

The court asked the value of NDTV's shares. Rohtagi's instructing counsel, Fereshte Sethna, said around 50 lakh shares were trading at Rs 37 this morning on the stock exchange, coming to a value of about Rs 18 crore.

The bench recorded Rohatgi's submission that he had undertaken to submit a statement of the shares along with their value to the court, which the petitioners agreed to offer as security instead of the deposit ordered by the tribunal.

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