Give more time to Zee on Invesco request: NCLAT to NCLT

Ayushi Kar Mumbai | Updated on October 07, 2021

Now, the NCLT will take up the case again on Friday and set a fresh deadline for Zee

In a breather to the promoters of Zee Entertainment, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), on Thursday, has asked the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to give more time to the company to respond to Invesco’s request to hold an extraordinary general meeting.

Zee moves NCLAT seeking more time to respond to Invesco’s demand for EGM

The NCLAT said that NCLT has erred in ordering Zee to reply within two days, violating principles of natural justice. On Tuesday, the NCLT had asked Zee to respond to Invesco’s request by October 7.

This prompted Zee to file a petition with the NCLAT. After hearing Zee’s petition, the NCLAT said on Thursday that Section 98 of the Companies Act does not prescribe any time limit on NCLT.

Fresh deadline

Now, the NCLT will take up the case again on Friday and set a fresh deadline for Zee.

On September 29, Invesco filed a petition with NCLT, requesting the tribunal to compel the media company to hold an extraordinary general meeting to remove promoter and MD Punit Goenka from the Zee board of directors.

The petition filed by Invesco to the NCLT cited “grave urgency in the matter”. Zee, however, argued that ample time must be given for filing the counter affidavit.

Battle escalates as Zee junks Invesco’s request for EGM

The NCLT had cited section 100 of the Companies Act, stating that it only grants them 45 days to hold the EGM, therefore, it is timebound to hear the matter quickly to decide.

Zee said that the NCLT reading of the 45-day deadline does not hold.

Agreeing with Zee’s petition, the NCLAT ruled that sufficient time should be provided to Zee to file their final replies.

“It is clear that the learned NCLT has committed an error in not granting reasonable and sufficient time for filing a reply, which is a complete violation of Rule 37 of NCLT Rules and Principles of Natural Justice. Therefore, in the circumstances, as stated above, we are of the opinion that reasonable and sufficient opportunity should be given to the appellants for filing a reply,” said the NCLAT

A Zee spokesperson said: “The NCLAT has taken cognizance of our plea and has reinforced the principles of natural justice, granting us a reasonable opportunity to be heard.

“The company will continue to take all the necessary steps that are in the best interests of all its shareholders and as per the applicable law.”

Published on October 07, 2021

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