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Bombay HC grants relief to Subhash Chandra; requests to submit documents in response to SEBI's summons

Chandra argued that the summons violated the SEBI Act and contained allegations that implied his guilt.

The Bombay HC agreed with Subhash Chandra, chairman emeritus of Zee, on the arguments made in his writ petition challenging the summons issued by SEBI on January 12, 2024, in a recent hearing, as reported by Business Today. The court requested Chandra to provide the documents requested by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in relation to a fund diversion case.

In its order, the court instructed Chandra to reply to the latest summons in March, not the previous one on 12 January. An intricate request is awaiting processing. Chandra argued that the summons did not follow the SEBI Act, had pre-determined allegations, and resembled a show cause notice.

He contended that SEBI's summons contained accusations presented in a way that suggested his guilt and asked the court to deem the summons void and illegal. He claimed that the summonses were partial, unjust, capricious, and prearranged. It claimed that Chandra attempted to halt the investigation by not complying with the summons issued on January 12.

In January, SEBI issued several summons to Chandra for its probe into the alleged fund diversion case. It stated that Chandra failed to answer those summonses. Chandra addressed the existing bias at the market regulator in his petition, a concern previously noted by the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT).

In the previous year, SEBI reported that Rs. 200 crore was rerouted from Zee through related party transactions. Subhash Chandra and CEO Punit Goenka had challenged the assertion in front of SAT. It notified the court that a more extensive inquiry was being conducted because of the intricacy of the transactions.

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