How can Prannoy Roy & wife offer to pledge NDTV shares to Supreme Court when they are with VCPL, Income Tax attachment disputes etc? Are they trying to hoodwink the SC?

Are Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy trying to hoodwink the Supreme Court?

Are Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy trying to hoodwink the Supreme Court?
Are Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy trying to hoodwink the Supreme Court?

Prannoy Roy and wife Radhika Roy offer to pledge SC 50 lakh shares in NDTV as deposit

On Jan 28, 2021, NDTV promoter Prannoy Roy and wife Radhika Roy made a brazen claim of offering to pledge their shares in their television channel – NDTV to the Supreme Court. Are the Roys trying to hoodwink Supreme Court of India by offering to pledge their NDTV shares which are already disputed as per the finding of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)? These shares “owned by Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy” are already part of their controversial Rs.403 crores deal with Mukesh Ambani-linked firm Vishwapradhan Commercial Private Limited (VCPL) and 30% of the shares of NDTV belonging to Prannoy Roy’s shell company RRPR (Radhika Roy Prannoy Roy) Holdings are already attached by Income Tax in October 2017.

Pledging shares that they don’t own

On Monday, Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy represented by Advocate Mukul Rohatgi informed that they have no money to deposit around Rs.8.5 crores to challenge the SEBI fine of Rs.16.97 crores for the stock exchange manipulation case in the SEBI’s Appellate Tribunal. The Appellate Tribunal ordered to pay 50 percent (around Rs.8.5 crores) if they want to challenge the SEBI fine of Rs.16.97 crores. The Roys approached the Supreme Court and said that they have no money to deposit and that their 50 lakh shares in NDTV can be considered as a deposit. The apex court has asked to value the shares[1].

Prannoy Roy and wife’s dubious sale of listed company NDTV shares is also a matter of probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)  and Enforcement Directorate (ED) and hope that these agencies will take note of the doubtful offer given by the husband-and-wife duo to the apex court of India.

Here the questions are:

  1. Is Income Tax aware of this dubious offer to Supreme Court by Prannoy Roy and his wife? From October 2017 onwards 30 percent of the NDTV shares owned by shell company RRPR Holdings (RRPR means Radhika Roy Prannoy Roy) is attached by Income Tax[2].
  2. As per the Bombay Stock Exchange website on January 28, 20121, the husband and wife along with their shell firm – RRPR Holding Pvt Ltd – hold 61.45% of shares in NDTV. However, as determined by SEBI in its order of June 26 2018 (No. WTM/GM/EFD/ 31/2018-19) these are illegally given as collateral as close to 50% have been sold to VCPL. The VCPL is a company controlled by industrialist Mahendra Nahata who is a trusted man of Ambani family. The deal with VCPL by Prannoy Roy by selling shares of listed company NDTV through a private deal and obtaining Rs.403 crores is the crux of the SEBI case[3]. This matter is also under litigation before SAT (Securities Appellate Tribunal). Thus, they have no clear collateral to offer and have made false statements/ disclosures before the Supreme Court of India.
    So, Prannoy Roy and his wife are simply making a fool of all institutions (SC, SEBI, Tribunal, and Income Tax) by offering the disputed property to the sovereign as collateral so that if it goes wrong, the departments – IT, ED, SEBI, and CBI, etc., are left holding a rotten egg and fighting amongst each other.
  3. Prannoy Roy and wife’s dubious sale of listed company NDTV shares is also a matter of probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)  and Enforcement Directorate (ED) and hope that these agencies will take note of the doubtful offer given by the husband-and-wife duo to the apex court of India. Moreover, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (MIB) must take note of the SEBI’s findings of dubious share transfers by the Roys. MIB licensing conditions (for News broadcasting companies) mandate that promoters cannot pledge or create any third-party interest in their shareholding without the explicit consent of the MIB and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

In 2017, I had written a detailed book – NDTV frauds – explaining the frauds and loot in the garb of journalism. The two Promoters of NDTV, along with key top management colluded over the years with government functionaries and politicians to break laws, evade taxes and deceive shareholders of a public listed company. All this obviously through political patronage and “wheeling-and-dealing” as part of the Lutyens club and how they created a biased public discourse for a select elite class. Multinational corporations such as General Electric wittingly or otherwise aided NDTV by investing $150 million into a shell company with zero employees and zero revenue!

In the minds of the Indian citizen, there is a space and respect for media. Using the halo of journalism and under the garb of Freedom of Press, media owners misuse this position and in the end, degrade the values of journalism. On several occasions, media became the tool of false propaganda, blackmailing and illegal money-making with the blessing of uncouth politicians and corporate icons with hidden agendas. This ought to be exposed and that is the reason for this book[4].

To conclude, the Promoters of NDTV have concealed vital facts and information from the Supreme Court regarding the collateral being offered by them for an interim stay of the SAT order. They are attempting to hoodwink and make false statements before the Honorable Supreme Court of India. In fact, they cannot offer these shares even if there were no CBI, ED, Income Tax matters pending as being a news broadcaster, they need specific permission from the Ministry of I&B and the Ministry of Home Affairs before creating any third-party interest.

Hope SEBI or the Income Tax Department intervenes in this case and alerts the Supreme Court on the dubious offer by Prannoy Roy and his wife and must force them to deposit personal properties as 50 percent security in Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT). Nobody can play with the laws in the garb of journalism. Looters and tax evaders must be fixed. Law is above all.

References:

[1] Prannoy Roy & Radhika Roy Offer NDTV Shares As Security For SEBI Penalty; Supreme Court Seeks Statement Of Share ValueJan 28, 2021, Live Law

[2] Big Blow to NDTV: IT Dept seizes Shell Company of Prannoy Roy Stakeholder in NDTVOct 27, 2017, PGurus.com

[3] Are Roys the benami owners of NDTV? Is Reliance Industries in Control?Mar 12, 2018, PGurus.com

[4] NDTV Frauds: A classic example of breaking of law by Indian Media Houses – Amazon.in

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3 COMMENTS

  1. These are extremely clever wheeler dealers in the garb of journalists subverting our intellectual prowess apparently connected to leftist politicians who pretend to be messiah of the poor.

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