RIL-Network 18 deal: Tribunal asks Sebi to pass order by November 30

Sebi. (Photo: Kamlesh Pednekar)

The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) on Thursday asked markets regulator Sebi to pass an order by the end of November in the matter of Reliance Industries' acquisition of Network18 Media & Investments (NW18) and TV18 Broadcast (TV18). The order comes following an appeal filed by Victor Fernandes and Sangeeta Fernandes seeking further direction from the tribunal.

The tribunal, in June last year, had directed Sebi to re-examine whether there have been violations of listing agreement with respect to Reliance Industries' acquisition of Network18 Media & Investments (NW18) and TV18 Broadcast (TV18).

Besides, the regulator was asked to check whether Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) acquired indirect control of the two companies through Independent Media Trust (IMT).

However, more than one year have elapsed and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has not taken a decision and consequently, the applicants filed an application seeking further direction from the tribunal. Consequently, the SAT directed "Sebi to ensure that an order is passed pursuant to the earlier order of this Tribunal dated June 22, 2018 on or before November 30, 2019".

Fernandes, in their complaints, alleged that RIL had failed to disclose that it had acquired indirect control over NW18 and TV18 through IMT, a trust established in November 2011 for the exclusive benefit of RIL.

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