In a big setback to NDTV, the Delhi High Court issued notice to SEBI for not acting against the complaints of insider trading and stock exchange violations committed by NDTV and its main promoter Prannoy Roy. The notice issued by Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva on November 28 directed the market regulator SEBI to respond within two weeks with status report on the various complaints filed in the past four years by the NDTV’s minority shareholder Quantum Security Services Private Limited.
The petition also produced several emails of Prannoy Roy and colleagues to the foreign financial firms about the shares of NDTV in Stock Exchanges to make personal gains and fooling investors.
Due to NDTV’s clout, the Stock Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and its Chief U K Sinha was not acting on a series of complaints filed from 2013, by the TV channel’s minority shareholder Quantum Services and its promoter Sanjay Dutt. The complaints alleged that NDTV and its main promoter Prannoy Roy were involved in a series of Stock Exchange violations including insider trading in connivance with two foreign financial firms General Atlantic LLC and Goldman Sachs & Co.
The 390 page writ petition in two volumes, published in the end of this report clearly alleges that NDTV and Prannoy Roy were involved in manipulated and played frauds in Stock Exchanges on NDTV’s shares. NDTV is a public limited company and if charges are proved it is a serious offence that could lead to a jail term for Prannoy Roy and major fines or even cancellation of NDTV’s license. The petition also produced several emails of Prannoy Roy and colleagues to the foreign financial firms about the shares of NDTV in Stock Exchanges to make personal gains and fooling investors.
Delhi High Court’s action was a slap on SEBI Chairman U K Sinha, who was hushing-up the series of complaints filed with proof by the Sanjay Dutt and Quantum Services Pvt Ltd, the minority shareholder of NDTV. Due to NDTV’s hold in the Finance Ministry and strong connections with many powerful politicians in Delhi, SEBI was keeping a criminal silence on these petitions and now the market regulator is forced to take action as the Delhi High Court has sought a status report.
NDTV is currently facing an Income Tax evasion case and an Enforcement Directorate’s case on FEMA for manipulation of more than Rs.2300 crores ($335 million).
For the past four years, SEBI was ignoring a series of complaints by the petitioner due to NDTV’s patronage provided by many powerful political leaders, cutting across the political lines, who often used to land up in the TV channel by giving so-called Exclusive Interviews.
The petition published below exposes the ways of money routing and stock exchange manipulating messages by Prannoy Roy, who controls the listed company NDTV through a small firm called RRPR Holdings. RRPR means Radhika Roy (wife) and Prannoy Roy Holdings.
NDTV is currently facing an Income Tax evasion case and an Enforcement Directorate’s case on FEMA for manipulation of more than Rs.2300 crores ($335 million). ED is expected to charge PMLA also which implies three to seven years of imprisonment to key persons. Meanwhile, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has filed a complaint to ED for booking Prannoy Roy, Barkha Dutt, Vikram Chandra and Sonia Singh under PMLA. Now the Delhi High Court’s notice to SEBI for not acting complaints against NDTV is going to be a nightmare for the Lutyens’ Delhi’s TV channel, which once used to set the agenda for the country.
Here is a copy of the Writ Petition:
1. The conversion rate used in this article is 1 USD = 68.58 Rupees.
2. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.