NDTV founder Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy were stopped from leaving India at the Mumbai airport on Friday. Media reports said that the husband-wife duo is being investigated by the CBI in a money laundering case.
The extraordinary development took place days after the Securities Appellate Tribunal upheld the SEBI’s decision to impose a Rs 2 crore fine for not making a full disclosure about a tax demand of Rs 450 crore.
Reacting to Friday’s development, the NDTV called it a ‘complete subversion of media freedom.’ A statement put out by the NDTV read, “In a complete subversion of basic rights and in shameful continuance of the campaign to warn the media that nothing less than complete obeisance is acceptable, NDTV founders Radhika and Prannoy Roy were today prevented from leaving the country; they were scheduled to spend a week abroad and their return was booked for the 15th.”
The statement added, “They have been stopped on the basis of a fake and wholly unsubstantiated corruption case filed by the CBI about an ICICI loan that was taken by their company, RRPR, which was fully repaid with interest ahead of schedule. The case has been challenged by the NDTV founders and their company in the Delhi High Court where the matter has been pending for two years. Radhika and Prannoy Roy have been fully cooperating with the case and they have been travelling abroad regularly and returning to the country so to suggest they are a flight risk is ludicrous. The authorities did not inform the court, where the matter is sub judice, or the Roys, about today’s action. It is, along with events like raids on media owners, a warning to the media to fall in line – or else.”