Running struggling news channel: NDTV promoters tell SC

Running struggling news channel with no resources: NDTV promoters tell Supreme Court

'We have no resource,' the promoters told the court when they were asked if they could provide guarantee

Supreme Court of India. Credit: Reuters Photo

NDTV promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy on Thursday questioned before the Supreme Court market regulator SEBI's penalty, saying they were running a struggling news channel, having no resources.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the channel's promoters, contended before a bench presided over by Chief Justice S A Bobde that they were willing to give an undertaking that they would not transfer their entire shareholding in NDTV without leave of the SEBI's appellate tribunal.

He said the shares, which they held in NDTV, would not be transferred or encumbered.

To this, the bench asked him if he could give a guarantee.

Responding to the query, he said, "We have no resource. We are a popular and struggling news channel. We cannot offer any other guarantee or security."

The bench then asked him about the value of the shares of the company. Rohatgi said the value came to roughly around Rs 18 crores for the 50 lakh shares.

The counsel agreed to file a statement of the shares along with their value which the petitioners are willing to offer as security.

The bench gave a day's time to file the statement and put the matter for consideration on Monday.

During the hearing, the counsel contended that the show-cause notice was issued in the matter 10 years after the transaction which was barred by limitation.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had imposed a penalty of Rs 27 crore on the petitioners for failing to disclose price sensitive information to the shareholders of NDTV.

The Securities Appellate Tribunal had subsequently directed them to deposit 50% of the unlawful gains which the SEBI found to have been made by them for alleged insider trading.