The Securities and Exchange Board of India or the SEBI has banned NDTV founders Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy from holding management positions in the channel for two years. The two and their holding firm have also been barred from the capital markets for the same duration.
The market regulator accused the duo of violation of various regulations by keeping minority shareholders in the dark about three loan agreements, reported news agency PTI. The three loans in question were from the ICICI Bank and a little-known entity Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Ltd (VCPL).
The SEBI said in its order that the couple had also violated the Code of Conduct of NDTV, which they were supposed to abide by as Chairman and MD respectively.
“Any fraudulent act directly designed to defraud such investors cannot be treated as good for the securities market and for the interest of investors. Such acts, if not dealt with adequately and sternly, will send a wrong signal to the violators having same or similar propensity and will not be good for the securities market,” PTI quoted the SEBI order.
Economic Times quoted Sebi’s Whole Time Member SK Mohanty as saying that since, the ‘information related to ICICI loan agreement was concealed from the public shareholders of NDTV, the shareholders were not aware of any such agreement entered into by promoter directors of NDTV.’ In the absence of material information relating to ICICI loan agreement being available in the public domain, they were not in a position to take any informed decision with respect to dealing in the scrip of NDTV, the SEBI order stated.
The two-year ban by the SEBI means that Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy will have their existing holdings, including mutual fund units frozen during this period.