36-crore fine for a 28,000 crore tax evasion?
It is interesting to note the silence of Indian media on the recent orders of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) slapping a big fine on Times of India’s promoter Samir Jain. The stock exchange regulator SEBI also put a fine on Samir Jain’s wife Meera Jain and daughter Trishla Jain and their shell firms controlling Times of India’s company Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd (BBCL) of around Rs.36 crore.
Samir Jain used Shell companies to control TOI Group
Times of India Group’s Vice Chairperson Samir Jain and Meera Jain has also been barred from the securities market and been restrained from holding any key managerial position or associating with any listed public company. The SEBI orders were based on the illegalities in floating shell companies by controlling the flagship company BCCL. Some shell companies were listed in the Kolkata Stock Exchange and Jains dubiously de-listed these firms. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in December 2022 filed complaints to SEBI on this regard.
SEBI’s orders detail how dubiously Samir Jain and his brother Vinit Jain control the Times of India Group through the number of shell firms. This is India’s biggest news group operates: See below the dubious structure and shareholding pattern of the Times of India Group mentioned in the SEBI Orders :
“…..wrong disclosure of promoters’ shareholdings by certain companies such as Arth Udyog Limited, Bharat Nidhi Limited, Ashoka Viniyoga Limited, Ashoka Marketing Limited, PNB Finance, and Investments Limited (hereinafter referred to as ‘PNBFIL’/‘Company’/‘Noticee no. 1’), Camac Commercial Company Limited, Combine Holding Ltd. and Sahu Jain Ltd., out of which PNBFIL and Camac Commercial Company Limited are companies listed on Calcutta Stock Exchange (hereinafter referred to as ‘CSE’) and rest of the aforementioned companies are listed on Dissemination Board of the National Stock Exchange of India Limited (hereinafter referred to as ‘NSE’). Five of the aforementioned 8 little-known companies (mentioned in bold in Table 1 below) are also found to be holding large quantities of shares of Bennett Coleman and Co. Limited (hereinafter referred to as ‘BCCL’).
Long story short, too little fine, too late
“The details of total shareholding of BCCL as per material available on record are as below: – Table 1: Shareholding of BCCL:
- Bharat Nidhi Ltd – 24.41%
- PNB Finance & Industries Ltd – 9.29%
- Camac Commercial Company Ltd – 13.30%
- Ashoka Viniyoga Ltd – 18.02%
- Sanmati Properties Ltd – 9.75%
- Arth Udyog Ltd – 9.31%
- Jacaranda Corporate Services Ltd – 8.93%
- TM Investments Ltd – 5.96%
- Vinit Kumar Jain – 0.57%
- Samir Jain – 0.003%
- Meera Jain – 0.45%
All eight shell companies are addressed at Time of India’s Delhi office and are also owned by the Jain brothers and most of the Directors of these shell firms are Times of India employees, details the SEBI orders on the frauds and illegalities of Jain brothers in controlling Times of India Group.
Earlier, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in 2019 filed a detailed complaint to Prime Minister, CBI, Income Tax, Enforcement Directorate, and SFI to probe into the illegalities in Times of India Group, accusing a tax evasion of more than Rs.28,000 crore.
 Subramanian Swamy complains to SEBI against Times of India, Asian Paints Group illegalities – Dec 09, 2022, PGurus.com
 Subramanian Swamy urges probe by Income Tax, ED, CBI, SEBI and SFIO into the huge tax violations, money laundering in Times of India Group – Dec 25, 2019, PGurus.com
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Dr. Swamy the lone crusader. How did the income tax or SEBI were sleeping all these years ?
Rs. 28,000 crores is small amount for govt of India ?