The Apex Court stayed the recovery of penalty of Rs. 27 crore imposed by Securities Exchange Board of India on NDTV and its promoters, namely Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, in the month of December, 2020.
According to the SEBI, the promoters of NDTV had allegedly violated various norms related to securities and had concealed the vital information regarding loan agreements from their shareholders.
The bench had directed the appellants to cooperate with the disposal of appeals initiated against SEBI order delivered by SAT, until April 6, 2021. SAT had directed the appellants to deposit 50% of the amount, without the interest, within four weeks. The instant plea had been filed against this order only.
The counsel on behalf of appellants submitted that running a TV channel is not a cakewalk and lot of revenue is required for the same. The counsel stated that this is main reason why numerous news channels have boarded up. Only the ones which have good network, like Times Now, can function.
According to the SEBI, there were loan agreement clauses which had adversarial impact on NDTV’s shareholders. One of the shareholder of NDTV had alleged that certain rules of non-disclosure had been violated and the shareholders had not been informed about loan agreements with VCPL (Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Ltd.).
The bench was headed by CJI who delivered an order that no amount shall be coercively recovered from the NDTV owners for hearing this case and thus granted them a relief until next hearing.