The New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) has been penalized for Rs 25 crores by the Securities Board Exchange of India, alongside its promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy who have to bear a penalty of Rs.1 crore for committing tax fraud. The penalty has been imposed as a result of “violating various securities” norms employing hideous attempts to conceal information from the shareholders with regards to specific loan agreements.
As per sources, the promoter entity of New Delhi Television Ltd., RRPR Holding has been fined by the markets regulator SEBI, for not revealing information based on loan agreements containing clauses that are bound to have impacts on the shareholders.
The SEBI stated “… a fine of Rs.25 crore has been imposed on Roys and RRPR holding, which needs to be paid jointly and severally. Besides, a penalty of Rs.1 crore each has been levied on Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy.”
The investigation arose as a consequence of a report, claiming there has been a violation of rules, by, Quantum Securities Pvt. Ltd. As per Quantum Securities Pvt. Ltd., which was a shareholder of NDTV in 2017, the cause for violation is the non-disclosure of material information to the shareholders about loan agreements with VPL, signed in 2019. A loan of Rs.350 crore was taken to repay the ICICI Bank loan and again a year later, another loan agreement of Rs. 53.85 crore was signed.
Amongst several major impactful clauses, one of them allowed VCPL to indirectly acquire 30 percent shareholding of NDTV by converting warrants into equity shares of RRPR holding.
Various other clauses containing price-sensitive information were kept hidden by NDTV while dealing with its shareholders.
The promoters, Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy claim that NDTV was not a party, this allows them to not make disclosures unnecessarily regarding the agreements to the stock exchanges. However, SEBI Adjudicating Officer Amit Pradhan says that contents and loan agreements demonstrate that how the notices pertaining to various schemes were devised, led to the concealment of various crucial and data-sensitive stipulations related to NDTV.