SC asks promoters to apprise it of shares they hold in NDTV

·3-min read

New Delhi, Jan 28 (PTI) The Supreme Court Thursday asked NDTV promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy to apprise it of the shares they hold in the company and their value by Friday. The promoters told the apex court that they were willing to give undertakings that their shares in NDTV will not be transferred. They have challenged the SAT order directing them to deposit 50 per cent of the alleged unlawful gains which markets regulator Sebi found to have been made by them.

The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) had directed the NDTV promoters to deposit 50 per cent of the disgorged amount before Sebi which had imposed a penalty on them for alleged violation of various securities norms by concealing information from shareholders regarding certain loan agreements.

While hearing their appeal against Sebi, SAT had further said that if NDTV were to deposit the amount, the balance would not be recovered during the pendency of the appeal before it.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde took note of the submission of senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the promoters, that they were willing to provide a statement of shares which will not be transferred by them to any other person. On being told that the affidavit can be filed by Friday, the bench, which also comprised Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, fixed the pleas for hearing on Monday.

In the proceedings conducted through video conferencing, it asked the counsel for Roys as to how much security they were willing give.

Rohatgi said the promoters are willing to give an undertaking that shares which they hold in NDTV will not be transferred.

'We don't have any other money. We are a struggling news channel. We are badly hit,' the senior lawyer said.

'You have to give some security. How much is the value of share,' the bench asked.

The value of each share is Rs 37 and we have 50 lakh share, the lawyer replied and undertook to file the affidavit by Friday.

In two separate orders passed on January 4, the tribunal had noted that the appeals filed by the Roy couple needed consideration and directed the appeals to be listed before the tribunal for final disposal on February 10, 2021.

This had come following appeals filed by the couple against a Sebi order passed in November last year, whereby the markets regulator had barred them from the securities market for two years and also directed them to disgorge illegal gains of Rs 16.97 crore for indulging in insider trading more than 12 years ago.

However, the charges were denied by the company. Sebi had noted that the duo together made the gains by indulging in insider trading in the shares of New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) while in possession of UPSI relating to the proposed reorganization of the company.

Prannoy Roy was the chairman and whole time director and Radhika Roy was the managing director during the period under investigation and were part of the decision making chain that had led to crystallization of the UPSI.

Discussions pertaining to reorganisation of the company started on September 7, 2007 and the disclosure was made on April 16, 2008.

Hence, September 7, 2007 to April 16, 2008 was unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI) period.

The couple sold shares on April 17, 2008, when the trading window for them was closed and made a profit of Rs 16.97 crore, as per the Sebi order.

By doing so, they violated Prohibition of Insider Trading (PIT) norms and also acted in contravention of NDTV's code of conduct for prevention of insider trading which prohibited them from trading at least till 24 hours after the information was disclosed to the stock exchanges, it added. PTI MNL SJK SA