Former TV9 CEO Ravi Prakash arrested

TV 9 former CEO Ravi Prakash (DH file photo)

The Hyderabad police on Saturday arrested V Ravi Prakash, former chief executive officer of popular television channel TV9, for allegedly siphoning off Rs 18.31 crore from Associated Broadcasting Company Limited (ABCL), the owners of the news channel said.

Alanda Media and Entertainment Private Limited, promoted by real state major My Home Group and infrastructure giant Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) acquired 90.54 % of shares in ABCL on August 27, 2018.

Raviprakash’s arrest came after the new management of ABCL lodged a complaint with the Banjara Hills police on Friday evening.

The police registered cases against Ravi Prakash under various sections of Indian Penal Code, including cheating and criminal breach of trust. Prakash, who owns a minor stake in the company, was sacked from the post of CEO and director on May 10, this year.

In its complaint, the ABCL management has alleged that Ravi Prakash and his associate M K V N Murthy had drawn huge sums from the bank accounts of the company without valid reason and board’s approval. “His acts amount to cheating, gross misappropriation of funds, causing wrongful loss to the company and thereby getting personal benefit at the cost of the company," a company spokesperson said.

The new management says that scrutiny of accounts revealed that Ravi Prakash had fraudulently diverted Rs 6.36 crore into his account and another Rs 5.97 crore each into the accounts of other directors Murthy and Clifford Pereira. The three persons are alleged to have withdrawn Rs 18.31 crore in total, receiving Rs 11.74 after tax deductions. The cheques were signed by Ravi Prakash and Murty.

The ABCL also said the accused have shown the amounts under bonus/ex gratia by producing ante-dated documents. The duo are said to have told the accounts department to enter the amounts in that particular category without the approval of the board.

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