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Updated on: Thursday, October 07, 2021, 10:07 PM IST

NCLAT tells NCLT to give Zee 'reasonable time' to respond to Invesco plea

Zee had moved the NCLT against Invesco's plea for a Extraordinary General Meeting | File Image

Zee had moved the NCLT against Invesco's plea for a Extraordinary General Meeting | File Image

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In a setback to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal on Thursday directed the NCLT to provide "reasonable and sufficient opportunity" to Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) to reply to Invesco's plea seeking convening a meeting of the company''s shareholders.

In a 15-page order, the appellate tribunal said the NCLT committed an "error" by not granting reasonable time to ZEEL to reply to Invesco''s plea.

A two-member NCLAT bench said that it was a complete violation of NCLT Rules and Principles of Natural Justice and directed the Mumbai bench of the NCLT to proceed further after hearing both parties.

"... we are of the opinion that reasonable and sufficient opportunity should be given to the appellants for filing a reply," the appellate tribunal said in the order.

"After hearing both the parties, the learned NCLT should proceed further. The appeal is disposed of accordingly," said the two-member NCLAT bench comprising Justice Jarat K Jain and Alok Srivastava.

However, the NCLAT did not mention how much time should be given to ZEEL to submit its reply.

The order has come on a petition filed by ZEEL seeking more time to file reply over the requisition of minority shareholders -- Invesco and OFI Global China Fund -- to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).

Invesco Developing Markets Fund (formerly Invesco Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund) along with OFI Global China Fund LLC hold 17.88 per cent stake in ZEEL.

The minority shareholders have moved a petition before the NCLT seeking convening of the EGM, removing the company''s Chief Executive and Managing Director Punit Goenka as well as two other directors, and reconstituting the board with the appointment of six new directors.

Invesco motive 'questionable'

Earlier, terming the motive of Invesco 'questionable', Essel group patriarch Subhash Chandra on Wednesday came in defence of ZEEL and said that it is clear case of a takeover of the media house using illegal channels.

Chandra's comment came on Wednesday, when ZEEL moved the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) to get a stay on the NCLT order that sought a reply from the company on its decision to hold extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on a plea moved by shareholder Invesco Developing Market Funds.

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Published on: Thursday, October 07, 2021, 10:07 PM IST
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