SAT refuses interim relief to  Punit Goenka against Sebi order

SAT also noted that it is not satisfied with the amount of time taken by Sebi for investigation.

Published: 31st August 2023 10:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st August 2023 10:21 AM   |  A+A-

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd MD Punit Goenka

former chief of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) Punit Goenka

By Express News Service

MUMBAI:  The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) on Wednesday refused interim relief to Punit Goenka, former chief of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), against a Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) order that bars him from holding key managerial positions in Zee group firms and merged Zee-Sony entity. 

SAT also noted that it is not satisfied with the amount of time taken by Sebi for investigation. The tribunal has directed the capital market regulator to file its response by September 4. The next hearing in the Zee-Sebi case will be on September 8 for the final order.

Goenka had approached the tribunal last Friday to seek interim relief against the market regulator’s confirmatory order. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for Goenka, argued that 
it was unfair on Sebi’s part to ask his client not to occupy any key managerial positions till it completes the investigation. He argued that the order was under Sebi’s jurisdiction as a market regulator and that no public interest would be harmed if Goenka was made a director in ZEEL.

In June this year, the market regulator banned Essel Group Chairman Subhash Chandra and then Zee Entertainment Enterprises CEO Punit Goenka from holding any directorial or key managerial position in listed companies or their subsidiaries. The move came after the regulator found that Chandra and Goenka abused their position as directors of a listed company by siphoning off funds for their own benefit.

However, earlier this month, the market regulator passed another confirmatory order and barred Goenka and Chandra from the boardrooms of four Zee group companies, including Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. The legal troubles for Goenka and Chandra have created uncertainty about Zee-Sony merger. However, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has approved the merger of ZEEL with Culver Max Entertainment, earlier Sony Pictures Networks India.

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