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NCLT gives Zee two weeks to reply to Invesco’s EGM Petition

The National Company Law Tribunal has extended the time given to Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. for replying to Invesco Developing Markets Fund’s petition seeking a court-ordered extraordinary general meeting.

In the hearing on Friday, lawyers for the broadcaster, its Managing Director Punit Goenka and some of the independent directors on its board requested the tribunal for two weeks time for filing the reply.

This comes after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal on Thursday said the tribunal had erred in not granting sufficient and reasonable time to Zee Entertainment. “Zee should be given reasonable and sufficient time for replying to the petition that seeks an EGM of the company.”

The appellate tribunal, however, did not specify the time the broadcaster should be given. “We are of the opinion that reasonable and sufficient opportunity should be given to the appellants for filing a reply. After hearing both the parties, the learned NCLT should proceed further.”

The case so far
Invesco and OFI Global China Fund LLC, which together own a 17.88% stake in Zee Entertainment, had sought an EGM to oust Goenka and appoint six new independent directors.

Invesco had approached the NCLT, seeking the EGM. But Zee’s board rejected the requisition and moved the Bombay High Court calling it illegal. While the high court is yet to take it up, the NCLT had asked Zee to file its response by Thursday.

The company then moved the NCLAT on Wednesday, complaining that the time granted by the tribunal was inadequate. It also sought a stay on the proceedings before the tribunal until the NCLAT decides on the appeal.

The NCLT took up the case on Thursday but agreed to postpone the hearing for a day after Zee lawyers informed that the appellate tribunal had reserved the order in their plea. The tribunal, however, observed that Zee had time to file the petition in the NCLAT but could not file a reply in the NCLT.

The NCLT has now granted two weeks time to Zee and will take up the case for hearing next on Oct. 22. BloombergQuint

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