NDTV CEO Suparna Singh resigns with immediate effect

MUMBAI: NDTV CEO Suparna Singh has resigned from the position with immediate effect. In a filing to the BSE, the company said that the company’s board had passed a resolution to appoint Suparna Singh as CEO subject to the receipt of requisite approval from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).

The company had applied for MIB’s approval on 12th December 2017. However, approval has not been received. Subsequently, Suparna Singh and the company entered into an appointment agreement to appoint Singh as the CEO. The appointment was conditional upon receipt of MIB approval. Singh has been acting as Interim CEO during this interregnum.

The company said that the matter will be placed before Board & Committee members for consideration.

Meanwhile, the shares of NDTV dropped 6.33% in Thursday’s trade after the CBI booked its promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, among others, for allegedly violating foreign direct investment (FDI) rules in a 2007-09 investment.

The agency also registered an FIR against the then CEO Vikram Chandra as well as unidentified government officials on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, and corruption. A CBI team also conducted searches at Chandra’s residence.

The CBI is probing NBC Universal’s investment in Network PLC (NNPLC), an NDTV company incorporated in London on November 30, 2006. The CBI has alleged that NNPLC got approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) board in violation of FDI rules in 2009. It also alleged that NDTV received FDI worth $163.43 million which was invested in various NDTV subsidiaries through a web of complex transactions.

In a statement, NDTV denied the CBI’s allegations stating that the founders have full faith in India’s judiciary.

“Despite a series of cases in which the investigation is deliberately stalled, agencies have found no evidence of any corruption by NDTV. Prannoy and Radhika Roy, the founders of NDTV, as also the company, have cooperated in all matters filed against them. As part of the continued persecution of free press, a new CBI case has been filed about a $150 million investment in NDTV’s non-news business by NBCU, then owned by General Electric, a massive American conglomerate. The case makes the ludicrous charge that the transaction, declared to all relevant authorities in the US and India, laundered money for unknown public servants,” NDTV said in a statement.

“NDTV and its founders have full faith in India’s judiciary at this crucial time and remain committed to the integrity of the company’s journalism. Attempts to silence free and fair reportage through malicious and fabricated charges will not succeed. This is not about a company or individuals but about a larger battle to maintain the freedom of the press, something which India has always been renowned for.”

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