DC promoters in dock as NBWs issued against 7 directors
Religare Group, which had lent Rs 100 crore to the media group, filed a cheque bounce caseA Hyderabad: Entire management of crisis-hit Deccan...
Religare Group, which had lent Rs 100 crore to the media group, filed a cheque bounce caseA Hyderabad: Entire management of crisis-hit Deccan Chronicle Holding Limited (DCHL) is in trouble now with a court issuing non-bail warrants (NBWs) against all seven directors of the company in a cheque bounce case. "We have filed a case against all the seven directors of the DCHL after a cheque issued by the company towards a part payment of our loan, had bounced. Non-bailable warrants have been issued against all the seven directors," Sachindra Nath, Group Chief Executive Officer, Religare Enterprises Limited, told The Hans India from Chandigarh on Friday. DCHL promoters borrowed more than Rs 100 crore from Religare Group after pledging some of their shares with the lender. Religare Finevest, a part of Religare Group, invoked the pledged shares after the media group plunged in financial crisis and its share price slumped. It emerged as the largest shareholder in the company with 14.48 per cent stake in September 2012. However, as Religare was keen to recover its loan amount, it opted for arbitration. "The arbitration process has already begun in New Delhi, but DCHL promoters have failed to deposit Rs 50 crore required for the process to go ahead," Nath maintained. He however clarified that Religare was not interested in taking over the DCHL despite being the largest shareholder now. "We are not interested in the company, but exercising all legal options to recover our amount," he added. Asked the company filed criminal case when it invoked the pledged shares, Nath replied that the collateral security provided by the borrowers was insufficient and some wrong documents were also submitted. He also stated Religare representatives were not on the board of DCHL despite being largest shareholder. "The management has to nominate our representative on the Board of Directors, we can't do that on our own," he maintained. Meanwhile, there were strong rumours on Friday that Chandigarh police who landed in the city to execute NBWs against some of DCHL promoters tried to arrest DCHL chairman T Venkatrami Reddy and others. But there were no confirmed reports about the arrests till late in the night. DCHL promoters reportedly brought pressure on police from highest level to avoid arrests. DCHL, who publishes Deccan Chronicle, Financial Chronicle and several other titles, landed in trouble after its debts increased to Rs 4,112 crore in a span of one year from Rs 928 crore in March 2011. At the same time, its networth eroded by 99 per cent from Rs 1,280 crore to Rs 10 crore. The company posted a net loss of Rs 1,040 crore for 18 months ended on September 2012.