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SAT sets aside SEBI order against Punit Goenka, allowing his return as Zee MD and CEO: Reports

The tribunal, however, has allowed SEBI to continue its investigation into the matter.

The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has reversed an order issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on August 14th. This order had barred Punit Goenka, associated with Zee Entertainment Enterprises, from holding key directorship positions in listed companies due to an alleged fund-diversion case. The SAT's decision now allows Goenka to resume his role as the managing director and CEO of Zee as reported by Mint.

This development is significant as the Sony-ZEE merger is likely to create a large entity in the media and entertainment sector. While Goenka can now resume his leadership role at Zee, the SAT has allowed SEBI to continue its investigation, indicating that this legal battle may not be entirely resolved.

SEBI is expected to appeal the SAT's decision in the Supreme Court. The SEBI order in August had affected Punit Goenka and his father, Subhash Chandra, who were both restrained from holding key positions in publicly traded companies due to allegations of diverting public money from Zee Entertainment Enterprises to private entities.

The legal battle between the Goenkas and SEBI has been ongoing for several months, with its roots dating back to June. This dispute had posed an obstacle to Zee's proposed merger with Sony Pictures Networks India, a merger of importance in the Indian media and entertainment industry. One of the conditions of this merger was that Punit Goenka would lead the combined entity.

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