The Securities and Appellate Tribunal on Tuesday granted temporary relief to NDTV promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy from a regulatory order, The Wire reported. The two were barred from holding any managerial posts in the news network after the Securities and Exchange Board of India passed an order on Friday over the violations of insider trading regulations.
The SEBI order had also barred them from accessing the securities market for a period of two years and discontinued their roles as directors in their channel. “At this stage, prime-facie, we are of the opinion that a listed company which is managed by the appellants holding more than 61% of the total shares cannot remain headless,” The Business Standard quoted the tribunal as saying. “We accordingly, grant the respondent six weeks time to file a reply from today [June 18]. Three weeks thereafter to the appellants to file a rejoinder. The matter would be listed for admission and for final disposal on September 16, 2019.”
The tribunal also clarified that the interim order was not a judgement over the merits of the SEBI case, which it said needed to be “considered in detail”.
After the SEBI order on Friday, Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy had said that the order was “based on an incorrect assessment and highly unusual directive”. They also said that they would take urgent legal action “as advised within the next few days”.
The markets regulator had initiated an investigation after an NDTV shareholder claimed that Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy and RRPR Holdings [another promoter of the news channel] had not disclosed information about loan agreements they entered into with a company known as Vishvapradhan Commercial. ICICI Bank was also part of this agreement. The SEBI investigated the period from October 14, 2008, to November 22, 2017, to make its assessment.