The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Friday directed Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) to file its reply to a petition moved by Invesco Developing Markets Funds by October 22. Invesco can also decide to file a rejoinder to ZEEL’s reply on the same date, the Mumbai bench of NCLT said.
The move follows a National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order on Thursday that granted ZEEL more time to file its reply. In its order, the appellate tribunal said it was an error on part of NCLT to not grant “reasonable and sufficient time” for filing the reply.
In its October 5 order, NCLT had asked ZEEL to file its reply by October 7, the day when the tribunal would hear the case again, not heeding to ZEEL counsels’ requests for at least two weeks.
ZEEL moved the appellate tribunal the next day seeking more time to file a reply. The petitioners – Invesco Developing Markets Funds and its subsidiary OFI Global China Fund – had moved NCLT after ZEEL declined to honour its requisition notices (dated September 11 and September 23) to hold an EGM and evict certain directors.
Zee’s foreign investors, who together hold a 17.88% stake in the company, had sought the ouster of the company’s CEO and MD Punit Goenka and two non-executive directors, alleging breach of corporate governance norms. It also sought induction of six of its nominees on ZEEL’s board.