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SEBI bars NDTV’s Prannoy Roy, Radhika from securities market

By Anuj Cariappa
|

New Delhi, June 15: Regulator Sebi has barred NDTV Ltd's three key promoters - Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy and their holding firm - from the capital markets for two years and also restrained the two individuals from holding any board or top management role at the company in this period.

The Roy couple has also been barred from holding a board or key managerial position at any other listed company for one year, Sebi said while coming down heavily on them and RRPR Holdings Pvt Ltd for what it termed as violation of various regulations by keeping minority shareholders in the dark about three loan agreements.

File photo of Prannay Roy

Statement by NDTV:

Radhika and Prannoy Roy, the founders of NDTV, believe the SEBI order asking them to step down as directors and to not hold any management positions in NDTV is outrageous, bad in law and against all procedures. It is, for example, unheard of that the order contains false decisions on issues that were not even mentioned in the show cause notice.

They will challenge the SEBI order in the courts as advised within the next few days.

One such loan agreement was with ICICI Bank while two loans were from a little-known entity Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Ltd (VCPL).

SEBI never gave Mehul Choksi clean chit

The ownership of Delhi-based 'wholesale trading' firm VCPL, incorporated in 2008, is said to have later changed hands from RIL to the Nahata group, from which the Mukesh Ambani-led firm had bought Infotel Broadband in 2010 to re-enter the telecom business.

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Earlier last year, Sebi had ordered VCPL to make an open offer for NDTV Ltd for indirectly acquiring control of up to 52 per cent stake through a convertible loan of Rs 350 crore in 2009 'sourced' from a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd.

In its latest 51-page order, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said all its directions, including debarment of RRPR, Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy from buying, selling or otherwise dealing directly or indirectly in securities, or being associated with the securities market, will come into effect immediately.

Their existing holdings, including mutual fund units, will remain frozen during the prohibition period, Sebi said.

Sebi said its probe began after receipt of complaints in 2017 from Quantum Securities Pvt Ltd, a shareholder of New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV), about alleged violation of rules by non-disclosure of material information to the shareholders about loan agreements with VCPL.

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