NDTV says it ‘disagrees’ with Sebi penalty
Slapped with a Rs 2 crore fine by regulator Sebi for delayed disclosure of a tax demand, New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) on Friday said it “disagrees” with the imposition of penalty and it has a strong case in its favour. Sebi passed the order against NDTV on Friday and it can be challenged by the company before the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT).
Without specifically stating that it would challenge the Sebi order, NDTV said in a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges, “The company respectfully disagrees with the imposition of the penalty and believes that it has a strong case in its favour.
“The company will proceed as advised in law”. Stating that the Sebi order was uploaded by the regulator after business hours on Thursday, NDTV said it is intimating the stock exchanges about the order “without prejudice to our contentions in respect of the order, including on the issue of whether the same warrants a disclosure”. “In view of the company, it does not materially impact its present or future operations, or profit of financials,” NDTV said, while explaining its stand on whether the tax demand had warranted a disclosure. Sebi said in its 27-page order that the fine was imposed for violation of disclosure norms under <g data-gr-id="45">listing</g> agreement. The matter relates to a tax demand of Rs 450 crore raised by the Income Tax Department through an assessment order, dated February 21, 2014, issued by Assessing Officer for the Assessment Year 2009-10. The matter was disclosed by NDTV to the BSE and the NSE in May 2014.
“... a total penalty of Rs 2,00,00,000 is imposed upon the <g data-gr-id="36">noticee</g> New Delhi Television Limited which will be commensurate with violations committed by the <g data-gr-id="37">noticee</g>,” Sebi’s Adjudicating Officer Prasad Jagadale said in his order. Jagadale, however, said that the violation by the <g data-gr-id="38">noticee</g> is a standalone violation and is not repetitive.
Sebi said that as a listed company, NDTV had a responsibility to comply with the disclosure requirements in accordance with the letter, spirit, intention and purpose so that the investors could take a decision whether to buy, <g data-gr-id="30">sell,</g> or hold its securities. “Non-compliance/delayed compliance with
disclosure requirements by a listed company undermines the regulatory objectives and jeopardises the achievement of the underlying policy goals,” the order said.