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Bombay HC to hear Zee entertainment-Invesco case on October 21

The court has asked the company's largest shareholders Invesco and OFI Global China Fund to file affidavit by October 20.

October 13, 2021 / 03:55 PM IST
ZEEL | Representative image

ZEEL | Representative image

The Bombay High Court on October 13 decided to hear the Zee Entertainment and Invesco case on October 21. The court asked the company's largest shareholders Invesco and OFI Global China Fund to file an affidavit by October 20.

During the hearing, the court asked counsel Gopal Subramanium appearing for Zee that "if the matter is with NCLT, why should I be hearing the application?"

Subramanium argued that Invesco's requisition is violative of statute.

On October 2, the company moved the Bombay High Court against its biggest shareholders Invesco and OFI Global China Fund, saying their demand to call an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) be declared illegal.

“This is to inform you that the Company has filed a suit before the Hon'ble  High Court of Judicature at Bombay  (Bombay  High  Court) under the ordinary original civil jurisdiction (Civil Suit), inter alia requesting the  Bombay High Court to declare that the requisition notice sent to the  Company by Invesco Developing Markets Fund and OFI Global China Fund LLC (shareholders of the Company) is illegal and invalid,” Zee said in an exchange filing on October 2.

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It was learned that the Zee board decided that the requisition for an EGM by Invesco and OFI Global China Fund was not valid due to non-compliance with various laws and advised the company to file a declaratory suit in a civil court to confirm the invalidity.

Several statutes of the matter were outside the purview of the Company Law and didn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the NCLT where the matter was sub judice. legal sources had said.

Invesco and OFI Global China Fund LLC, which together hold a 17.88 percent stake in Zee Entertainment, demanded an EGM in a letter on September 11.

Apart from the ouster of MD and CEO Punit Goenka and two other directors, Invesco sought the appointment of six new directors—Surendra Singh Sirohi, Naina Krishna Murthy, Rohan Dhamija, Aruna Sharma, Srinivasa Rao Addepalli, and Gaurav Mehta.

On September 29, a week after Zee announced the mega-merger with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), Invesco moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) seeking an order for an EGM to be convened.

NCLT on October 8 asked Zee to file its reply by October 22 in the case seeking the ouster of three directors.
Maryam Farooqui

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