Sensational claims were made on Monday by the senior counsel, Diljit Singh Ahluwalia on behalf of his client the ex CEO and Editor-in-chief of TV9 channel, Ravi Prakash at the Telangana High Court. His counsel alleged that it was only after his client made complaints about the promoters of the channel to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) for allegedly siphoning off of Rs 294 crore through hawala networks that Prakash started being harassed.
The allegation was made before Justice G Sridevi who was hearing the former CEOâ€™s anticipatory bail plea. Diljot alleged that the TV channelâ€™s original promoter Chintalapati Srinivasa Raju sold 90% of his holdings in Associated Broadcasting Company Limited that runs TV9 to My Home group promoters J Rameswara Rao and J Jagpathi Rao and his associates for a Rs 500 crore deal. Of this Rs 206 crore was paid through cheque but the remaining cash amount was paid through offshore hawala networks, he alleged.
Diljit also alleged that an initial investment of Rs 50 crore made in August 2008 by Saif Mauritius Investment Company into I Vision company owned by Srinivasa came into TV9 as an interest-free loan. The counsel told the court that this was a violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
A copy of an email sent by Prakash to the heads of CBI and ED seeking a probe against Srinivasa and the current promoters for the alleged fraud was also produced in court.
The counsel told the court that Prakash's troubles began after he sent out this email seeking a probe. Allegations have also been made that only after a secret deal to reroute funds through hawala networks did the Saif investment Mauritius withdraw cases against the transfer of shares to the new government reported Times of India.
Countering these allegations, the senior counsel Harvin Raval representing the state police told the court that Prakash never cooperated with the investigations and sought unlawful methods to prevent the entry of the four new directors into the company. The counsel further alleged that Prakash took the help of actor Sivaji to sabotage the sale of TV9 and also forged signatures of the company secretary.