Following an order from the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) granted Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) Ltd two weeks to file its reply to plea by its largest shareholders Invesco Developing Market Funds and OFI Global China Funds.
The NCLT bench, comprising Bhaskara Pantula Mohan and Narendra Kumar Bhola, directed ZEEL to file its reply by October 22 for further consideration.
Invesco-OFI had approached the NCLT on September 29, seeking that ZEE be directed to hold an EGM as requisition by the largest shareholders and consider the removal of MD and CEO Punit Goenka and two other non-independent and non-executive directors from the company’s board. It also sought the induction of six new independent directors.
During the hearing on Oct 4, the NCLT directed ZEE to file its reply on Invesco’s plea within three days.
ZEE had approached the NCLAT against this saying that they needed a reasonable time to file their reply.
On Thursday, the NCLAT while observing that the NCLT Mumbai had made an “error” directed it to provide “reasonable and sufficient opportunity” to ZEE to reply to a plea by Invesco seeking a meeting of the company’s shareholders.
The NCLAT also observed that it was a complete violation of NCLT rules and principles of natural justice and directed 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 NCLAT order said.
During the hearing on Friday, the NCLT asked ZEE to file its reply by October 22.
After going through the reply, Invesco and OFI would have to tell whether they wish to file a rejoinder (additional affidavit) to ZEE’s reply.
On October 1, ZEE announced that they have rejected Invesco-OFI’s requisition for calling of an EGM. The same day, ZEE filed a suit in the HC challenging the requisition terming the demand as “illegal and invalid”.
The promoters, including Goenka, hold 3.99 per cent of the shares in the company. The remaining 96.01 per cent of the shares are held by the public of which the two petitioners, together, hold 18 per cent shares in ZEE.