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Relief for Zee: SAT Sets Aside SEBI Ban on Punit Goenka

Shares of Zee Entertainment are up over 1 per cent in trade on Monday after the Securities and Appellate Tribunal (SAT) set aside the SEBI order banning Punit Goenka from holding key managerial posts.

SAT on Monday allowed an appeal by Punit Goenka, former MD and CEO, setting aside the SEBI order which barred him from holding key managerial positions in Zee and other firms.

The SAT further directed Goenka to cooperate with SEBI’s investigation.

Goenka had challenged an order by the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) passed in August, asking its investigating officials to complete the enquiry in eight months. The order also barred ZEEL’s former directors Subash Chandra and Goenka from holding key managerial positions till the investigation is over, as per media reports.

The interests of entities, Subhash Chandra and Punit Goenka are factually in direct conflict with the interests of the public shareholders and the company, an order by SEBI Chairman Madhabi Puri Buch in August noted.

As prima facie found, the Entities have actively tried to conceal the very acts which have led to the loss of at least Rs 143.9 crore to the public listed companies including Zee Entertainment Enterprises, the 91 page order said.

While the Entities may argue that even the limited restraint noted above will be excessive and disproportionate in the matter, it is emphasised that the imminent effect of permitting the Entities to be in position of influence is that the ongoing investigation cannot be fair and complete.

As has been highlighted earlier SEBI has issued a confirmatory order in respect of Subhash Chandra, Chairman Emeritus, Zee Entertainment and noted that the possibility of him impacting fair and transparent investigation cannot be ruled out.

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