NDTV promoters move HC by Sebi notice

MUMBAI: NDTV promoters Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika approached Bombay Supreme Court on Thursday to challenge a justified cause notice issued by Sebi in 2018 for alleged violations of insider information rules. The markets regulator’s charges relate to the two trading in scrips of news channel NDTV as its promoters.

The Roys have challenged the validity of the notification dated August 31, 2018, issued by the regulator 10 years after the alleged commercial activity in violation of the Sebi Regulations (Prohibition of use of privileged information). Through their lawyer Fereshte Sethna, the Roys claimed that Sebi's notification constitutes a serious abuse of the process and that the accusations made by the regulator are unfounded and unfounded. His case is that there is no evidence with Sebi, nor has any document been provided to justify the accusations.

His plea to the HC bank, headed by judge S C Dharmadhikari, was to cancel the notification and receive the documents on which Sebi is based. His case is that the nature of the accusations made against the Roys is of a serious nature and, therefore, requires an evidentiary basis as a mandatory precursor for the initiation of such proceedings.

In addition, Sethna's argument was that the framework does not require the company to keep records for more than three years, and therefore, the notification of a 10-year trade places them in an unfair position to refute. His petition says that, since Sebi's notice is issued after 10 years of the alleged transactions, the relevant records are no longer available with them and, therefore, the notice would irreparably impair and jeopardize the right to defend itself.

The Roys said that the Sebi notice relates to the proposed restructuring of NDTV into ‘news-related businesses’ and news in ‘beyond news’ businesses held through NDTV Network Plc, in 2008, a proposal that was eventually not implemented.