SEBI barred Parannoy Roy and Radhika Roy from securities market and managerial posts. The regulator said founders of NDTV did insider trading by concealing price-sensitive information about three loan agreements. IT department filed ECIR against Raghav Behl, which is equivalent of FIR.The IT Department alleges that founder of Quint did not disclose the source of money, paid towards the purchase of a property in London.
Founders of NDTV had transferred their shares to RRPR Holdings Private Limited. Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy own 50% of the firm each. Through RRPR, they took an unsecured a loan of INR 400 crores. SEBI alleges that they transferred the share at INR 4 each, when the market price was INR 140, which helped them get the loan. Thus, they avoided capital gains. Founders contend that they transferred shares to themselves. Therefore, they did not gain anything. Roys had filed an appeal with Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals), which had restrained SEBI’s order. Again, The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal(ITAT) has upheld income tax department’s addition of nearly Rs.117 crores each as capital gains to the income of founders of NDTV. Roys will be contesting the claim.
Raghav Bahl and Radhika Kapoor bought a flat in London for INR 2.35 crores approximately . Radhika Kapoor paid for the flat with her tax paid money. IT Depeartment alleges that the money came from an undisclosed source. Thus, it is black money. Raghav Bahl had issued a public statement, denying the claim of laundering. He claimed that he had disclosed the sources while filing the IT returns.
Raghav Bahl stated, “All the allegations in your mail are completely and totally denied. Every transaction has been fully disclosed and assessed to tax. The value of the property is less than 15% of the number given in your mail, and it has been fully financed through legitimate LRS payments via banking channels, along with permitted mortgage funds overseas. To repeat, your allegations are completely and factually wrong.”
Prannay Roy wrote to Economic Times, “There is absolutely no question of concealment of income. ITAT ruling was to do with classification of the capital gains involved — whether short-term or long-term. The case involves legal issues and technical tax law issues.” Roy said an appeal against the tribunal’s findings will be filed once courts reopen in July.
Founders of NDTV and Quint have built India’s foremost media companies. Before Quint, Raghav Bahl had founded TV18, another national media company. He had sold it to Reliance in 2014, before starting Quint. If the cases against them are government oversight, then it sends the wrong message to the media businesses.