Indian Regulatory Body Bars ZEE’s Punit Goenka, Subhash Chandra From Holding Management Positions as Sony Merger Looms |

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India Securities and Exchange Board (SEBI) has banned Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) MD and CEO Punit Goenka and president emeritus Subhash Chandra from holding immoderate managerial aliases directorial positions successful listed companies.

The suspension is while SEBI carries retired investigations into allegations of insider trading. On Thursday, SEBI, which is group up to “protect nan interests of investors successful securities and to beforehand nan improvement of and to modulate nan securities market” issued an interim bid naming Goenka and Chandra arsenic “noticees.” The elaborate 16-page notice, of which Variety has obtained a copy, makes aggregate reference to “siphoning” of funds.

“It was ZEEL’s ain costs which was rotated done aggregate layers to yet extremity successful ZEEL’s account. The Noticees person attempted to thrust piggyback connected nan occurrence of ZEEL, nan flagship institution of Essel Group, to bankroll nan Associate Entities, which are owned and controlled by them,” nan announcement states.

“The prima facie findings against nan Noticees warrant a elaborate investigation by SEBI to unravel nan existent and complete picture. Accordingly, SEBI has initiated a elaborate investigation successful nan matter, which is presently successful progress,” nan announcement adds.

“The intent down nan related statement transactions was intelligibly not successful nan champion liking of ZEEL. What is besides amply clear is that structures and processes were not successful spot successful nan Company that could power specified irresponsible behaviour and clasp to relationship specified individuals. ZEEL is nan flagship Company of nan Essel Group. It appears arsenic if it was utilized for illustration a piggy slope by nan Noticees,” nan announcement says.

The order, signed by SEBI’s Ashwani Bhatia, says that location is simply a “prima facie lawsuit of Mr. Subhash Chandra and Mr. Punit Goenka having abused their position arsenic directors/KMPs of a listed institution for siphoning disconnected costs for their ain benefit. Further, though nan Promoter Family is only holding 3.99% shares successful ZEEL, Mr. Subhash Chandra and Mr. Punit Goenka proceed to beryllium astatine nan helm of affairs of ZEEL. Considering nan above, I americium of nan sentiment that, while nan investigation is still underway, their continuation arsenic a director/Key Managerial Personnel successful immoderate listed institution aliases its subsidiaries is apt to beryllium prejudicial to nan liking of those companies, peculiarly its investors.”

“The Noticees shall cease to clasp nan position of a head aliases a Key Managerial Personnel successful immoderate listed institution aliases its subsidiaries until further orders,” nan bid adds.

ZEEL must spot nan bid earlier their committee of board wrong 7 days and Goenka and Chandra person 21 days to record their reply/objections.

In 2021, ZEEL and Sony Pictures Networks India (subsequently renamed Culver Max Entertainment) signed definitive agreements to merge nan 2 entities to create an Indian broadcast giant, pinch Goenka to lead nan merged entity arsenic MD and CEO. The merger was pending support from India’s National Company Law Tribunal. It is not instantly clear really nan SEBI bid will impact nan process.

Sony had precocious talked up its India description plans.

Variety has reached retired to some ZEEL and Sony for comment.