NDTV founder Prannoy Roy and wife Radhika Roy have decided to file an appeal against the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s decision to impose a total fine of Rs. 27 crore for violations. The market regulator had imposed a fine of Rs 27 crore on Thursday on them for violating securities norms by concealing information from shareholders regarding certain loan agreements.
Reacting to the SEBI’s order, NDTV said that it had decided to challenge the financial penalty against its founders. A statement by the media outlet said, “Radhika and Prannoy Roy, the founders and promoters of NDTV, have repeatedly said that they have never directly or indirectly surrendered control of the Company to another individual or entity.
The SEBI order issued against them today (December 24), alleging they surrendered control of the Company, is based on an incorrect assessment of facts.”
The statement added, “The core issue of the alleged surrender of control is pending adjudication at the Securities Appellate Tribunal, which, in 2019, granted a stay in favour of the founders of NDTV till the tribunal decides the matter.”
It said that the lawyers for Prannoy and Radhika Roy will ‘appeal against the order and its baseless findings at the Securities Appellate Tribunal. Their lawyers have advised that the SEBI order will not withstand scrutiny in appeal.’
The SEBI order had said that clauses in certain loan agreements by NDTV had an ‘adversarial effect’ on the company’s hareholders.
Last month, the SEBI had banned Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy from the share market for two years. The SEBI had also directed them to ‘disgorge illegal gains of more than Rs 16.97 crore for indulging in insider trading more than 12 years ago.’ The NDTV has issued a statement saying that it will file an appeal against the order.
Last year, the Securities Appellate Tribunal had upheld the SEBI’s decision to impose Rs 2 crore fine for not making a full disclosure about tax demand of Rs 450 crore. The SAT had also justified the SEBI’s decision to impose Rs 19 lakh penalty imposed by Sebi on the channel and three officials including promoters Pranoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy.