ED confirms so and summons Roys and Reliance group Directors
In what must be a defining moment in the saga of NDTV ownership, a recent order by Judge Shakder of the Delhi High Court (HC), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) confirmed that the Roys along with Directors of Reliance and ICICI have been summoned in a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) matter. Just today, its Chief Legal Officer Navneet Raghuvanshi has also left the company.
…some more interesting developments have taken place, in the last hearing before Honb’le Justice Shakhder (Delhi HC), ED has confirmed that Roys have been summoned and their statements recorded under PMLA. Further, even Reliance Group members have also been summoned in the same PMLA matter.
In an article titled Who controls NDTV? No, its not the Roys on 24, July, 2017, moneylife.in had made it quite clear that it appears Roys are not in control / are the Promoters of NDTV anymore. In fact, we had quoted from a SEBI letter that determined a change in control and had issued a show cause notice to a RIL group Company, the SEBI letter stated –
“With regard to change in control of NDTV, it may be noted that the proceedings against Vishvapradhan Commercial Pvt. Ltd. under section 11(1), 11(4) and 11(B) of SEBI Act 1992, and regulations 44 and 45 of SAST Regulations, 1997 read with corresponding provisions of regulation 32 and 35 of SEBI with (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeover) Regulations, 2011 have been initiated for failure to make public announcement pursuant to change in control in NDTV Limited as required under regulation 12 read with regulation 14 of SAST Regulations, 1997 for which show cause notice was issued on December 20, 2016”.
Now some more interesting developments have taken place, in the last hearing before Honb’le Justice Shakhder (Delhi HC), ED has confirmed that Roys have been summoned and their statements recorded under PMLA. Further, even Reliance Group members have also been summoned in the same PMLA matter. The HC order dated February 8, 2018, clearly records that summons were issued also to the Director of one of the companies of Reliance and the Branch Manager of the ICICI Bank, I have asked the counsel for ED and the Assistant Director, ED to file an updated report qua this part as well. In other words, all those who have come under the scanner, their statements will be recorded and concomitant steps will be taken, as mandated in law. For more, refer to the complete order at the end of this post.
Further, the Income Tax Department, after careful perusal had come to the conclusion that RRPR and then VCPL acquired control of NDTV. For more, see Figure 1 below:
Important conclusions can be drawn from the last proceedings and order of the Delhi HC that SEBI continues to procrastinate and has not taken any action on change in control (post issue of show cause in December 2016), Insider Trading and fraudulent trades of the Promoters and further, more importantly, all complaints and information given by the complainant shareholder, CBI and ED etc. to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) seem to be confined to the “dustbins” of the Ministry. Probably SEBI and MIB will wake up after the “horses have bolted” as we have seen in the Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi case.
Will this be another one and is it that everyone is scared of the “R” word here like in most investigations that get stuck at SEBI and were buried here in this NDTV matter with the various departments since 2011? One hopes not.
 SEBI’s inaction and understanding the violations by NDTV – Oct 22, 2017, PGurus.com