A division bench of the Bombay High Court, led by Justices Kathawalla and Milind Jadhav, has deferred the next hearing in the Zee Entertainment’s war against Invesco till November 29.
The matter came up for hearing on October 29 after Zee’s largest shareholder Invesco and OFI Global approached the bench on Thursday, challenging an October 26 Bombay High Court ruling.
Judge Gautam Patel had granted an injunction against Invesco’s call for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on October 26. The court had observed that directing Zee to call an EGM would be potentially non-compliant. It said that there was a fundamental flaw in Invesco’s construct.
On October 27, the counsel appearing for OFI Global China Fund, Janak Dwarkadas, told the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) that they might move an appeal against the order.
“Since I have been injuncted from proceeding any further with the notice of a requisition, your lordships may keep it sometime after the vacation for directions because probably we will be going for an appeal and if there is any reversal we can inform the court," Dwarkadas had said.
Invesco and OFI Global together hold 17.88 percent stake in Zee. The two had sought an EGM for the ouster of MD and CEO Punit Goenka and appointment of six new directors.
Justice Patel in his October 26 order had said, “In the scheme of the Companies Act, shareholders do not get to choose individual independent directors. They may only demand that there be independent directors.”
On Invesco seeking removal of Punit Goenka as the MD and CEO of the company, Patel said: “The requisition demands his ouster — but without proposing a replacement. This puts Zee into a statutory blackhole, for it would then be totally in violation of Section 203(1); and it, and its directors, would have to face the liabilities, including fines, set out in Section 203(5).”