Relief for NDTV: SC asks SAT to hear appeal without fine deposit
   Date :16-Feb-2021

NDTV_1  H x W:
IN A relief to NDTV promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, the Supreme Court on Monday directed Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) to hear their appeals against the orders of market regulator SEBI without the pre-condition of depositing half of the fine. A bench, headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde and comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said: “Appeals are to be heard on March 4. No amount shall be recovered coercively in absence of any deposit for hearing the appeals.”
However, the top court emphasised that this order shall not be treated as a precedent. On January 28, the NDTV promoters had informed the Supreme Court that the news channel is facing financial hardship due to limited resources. The submissions were made during the hearing of their appeal challenging the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) order directing the Roys to deposit 50 per cent of the alleged unlawful gains, which market regulator SEBI said they made. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the NDTV promoters, contended before the bench that he is not saying its a pre-deposit (condition). “They will attach my house”, he said.
Counsel had submitted that the NDTV promoters were willing to provide a statement of shares and their current market value, and also an undertaking that these shares will not be transferred. SAT had directed the NDTV promoters to deposit 50 per cent of the disgorged amount before the SEBI. The market regulator had imposed this penalty in the view of alleged violation of various securities norms, where information was concealed from shareholders in connection with certain loan agreements. The SAT had also noted that if NDTV were to deposit the amount, the balance would not be recovered during the pendency of the appeal before the tribunal.