The Company Law Board (CLB) on 19 November issued notices to Naveen Jindal, chairman of Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL), and to the company, on a complaint of a “backdoor entry” into the Positiv Television group.
The complaint came from Manoranjana Sinh, co-founder of Positiv; her ex-husband, Matang Singh, a former member of Parliament, is promoter. She has said Jindal had extended a loan amounting to Rs 150 crore through an associate company, Worship Impex Ltd. And, that although status quo had been ordered on all shareholding and fixed assets of the group since 2008, Matang Singh had mortgaged the assets and television licences of the company to Impex, in which two senior officials of JSPL also serve as directors.
She has said Shekhar Kumar Sharda, senior vice-president at JSPL and Amit Kumar Jha, technical assistant, were appointed on the board of Worship Impex earlier this year.
JSPL has said the company is not aware of any court order issued against the company. Also: “There is no contract between Naveen Jindal and Matang Singh. Therefore, the question of stay of any contract executed between Naveen Jindal and Matang Singh does not arise. We are not aware of any such order issued on JSPL by the CLB and are, therefore, not in a position to give our comments,” said a spokesperson for JSPL.
CLB has, meanwhile, stayed all agreements signed between the Positiv group and Worship Impex until further orders. Positiv also owns NETV, a regional news broadcaster.
Manoranjana Sinh said Naveen Jindal had already taken over the projects of the company and dismissed journalists, in addition to bringing his own administrative and editorial staff.
Naveen Jindal’s father-in-law, Abhey Oswal, currently owns 14.7 per cent equity in news broadcaster NDTV and is also a co-promoter of News Nation, a recently launched Hindi television channel.