Indian stock market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, has slapped a fine of Rs 2 crore on New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) for delayed disclosures to the stock exchanges about a Rs 450-crore tax demand in early 2014.
The fine has been slapped for violation of disclosure norms under listing agreement. "... a total penalty of Rs 2,00,00,000 is imposed upon the noticee New Delhi Television Limited which will be commensurate with the violations committed by the noticee," SEBI's Adjudicating Officer Prasad Jagadale said in his 27-page order. NDTV, founded by Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, runs several channels including a national general news channel by the same name.
The matter relates to a tax demand of Rs 450 crore raised by the Income Tax Department through an assessment order, dated February 21, 2014, issued by Assessing Officer for the Assessment Year 2009-10. The matter was informed to the BSE and the NSE only in May 2014. A penalty of Rs 25 lakh has been imposed for violation under one section related to disclosure norms and another Rs 1.75 crore fine under the section of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act.
SEBI noted that as a listed company, NDTV had a responsibility to comply with the disclosure requirements in accordance with the letter, spirit, intention and purpose so that the investors could take a decision whether to buy, sell, or hold its securities.
"Non-compliance/delayed compliance with disclosure requirements by a listed company undermines the regulatory objectives and jeopardises the achievement of the underlying policy goals," the order said. In the order, Jagadale also said that the violation by the recipient of the notice is a standalone violation and is not repetitive.