Former TV9 CEO Taken Into Custody Again in Rs 18 Cr Cheating Case

Hyderabad Police on Saturday, 5 October, took former Chief Executive Officer of TV9 V Ravi Prakash into custody, in connection with the alleged withdrawal of Rs 18.31 crore from Associated Broadcasting Company Private Limited (ABCPL), the promoter of TV9.

Speaking to The Quint, the police confirmed on Monday that they had taken Prakash into 14 days judicial custody.

The police also took former Chief Financial Officer MKVN Murthy into custody, according to news agency IANS.

The arrests were made after two cases were registered against them on a complaint filed by Alanda Media & Entertainment Pvt Ltd, which owns TV9 group of channels.

The management alleged in their complaint that Prakash and Murthy withdrew Rs 18.31 crore from the bank accounts of the company, from September 2018 to May 2019.

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‘Fraudulently Withdrew Huge Sums From Company’

The CEO of TV9, Gottipati Singa Rao, in his complaint said that the former directors – Prakash, Murthy and Clifford Pereira (Director of ABCL) – fraudulently withdrew "huge sums from the bank accounts of the company without substantiating any entitlement under law or following the prescribed procedure," according to CNN-News18.

Further, the complaint stated that Prakash withdrew Rs 3.36 crore, Murthy withdrew Rs 6.36 crore and the rest of the amount was paid to Pereira as bonus.

They allegedly withdrew the money without the permission of other directors of the company and claimed it to be their bonus.

Another case was registered against them for selling TV9 logo. They were charged with cheating and criminal breach of trust, IANS reported.

This is the second time that Prakash and Murthy were booked by the police on the complaint of Alanda Media & Entertainment Pvt Ltd. They were earlier charged with forgery and cheating.

Prakash, who had been heading TV9 channel since its launch in 2004, was sacked in May as the CEO by Alanda Media.

The dispute are a fallout of Prakash's rift with Alanda after it acquired more than 90.54 percent stake in TV9 in August 2018. The company alleged that Prakash opposed Alanda's move to appoint four directors and that he had "malafide intention."

However, Prakash had alleged that the "hostile takeover" was an attack on press freedom. He also alleged industrialists Jupally Rameshwar Rao, owner of real estate company My Home Group, and Krishna Reddy of Megha Engineering and Infrastructure limited (MEIL) of coercing the management, The News Minute reported.

(With inputs from IANS, CNN-News18 and The News Minute.)

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