Markets regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has found Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, the co-founders of New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) guilty of insider trading. Along with barring them from the securities market, the regulator has directed them to disgorge the amount wrongfully gained -- over Rs 16.97 crore -- along with 6% interest per annum from April 17, 2008.
The capital market regulator had received certain complaints from NDTV alleging that one Sanjay Dutt and certain other entities, including Quantum Securities Private Limited and SAL Real Estates Private Limited were involved in dealing in securities of NDTV in violation of provisions of prohibition of insider trading regulations during the period September 2006 to June 2008.
While the investigation conducted into the matter, inter alia, revealed that Dutt and his associated entities had indulged in insider trading in the scrip of NDTV at the same time, it also concurrently detected that the co-founders Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy have carried out insider trading in the scrip of NDTV during the period under probe.
Among the several instances of violation, the Roys were accused of trading on December 26, 2007 by buying in NDTV shares during the UPSI (unpublished price sensitive information) period -- despite being insiders -- as the board decided to evaluate options for its reorganisation including splitting into news related businesses and investments in 'Beyond News' businesses which are currently held through its subsidiary, NDTV Networks Plc.
Referring to the price sensitive information, the SEBI order said: "The PSI-6 had come into existence on September 07, 2007 and it was published post trading hours on April 16, 2008. Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, being insiders, had traded on December 26, 2007 by buying in NDTV shares during the UPSI period relevant to PSI-6."
The decision was made public in April 2008.
"The noticees herein, i.e., Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy shall be restrained from accessing the securities market and further prohibited them from buying, selling or otherwise dealing in securities, directly or indirectly, or being associated with the securities market in any manner, whatsoever, for a period of 2 years," said the order.
The Roys were earlier barred from the capital markets in 2019 for a period of 2 years.
In another order, SEBI has barred former group CEO Vikramaditya Chandra and others from trading in the securities market.
Chandra has been directed to disgorge the amount of wrongful gain of Rs 66.73 lakh along with interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum from April 17, 2008 till the date of actual payment of disgorgement amount along with interest, within 45 days from the date of coming into force of the order.