More troubles for Deccan Chronicle Holding and its promoters
Moneylife Digital Team 29 March 2013

Troubles continued for the debt-ridden Deccan Chronicle Holdings as the DRT ordered attachment of promoter’s properties, while a court in Chandigarh has issued non-bailable warrant against the company directors

The regional office of Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) from Hyderabad has ordered attaching scheduled properties of promoters of Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL), the publishers of Deccan Chronicle. Separately, a court in Chandigarh is issued a non-bailable warrant against directors of the company in a cheque bounce case.


Axis Bank, which is seeking to recover around Rs427 crore from DCHL had filed the petition before the DRT.  The Tribunal issued attachment notices covering properties of T Venkatram Reddy (chairman) and his brother T Vinayak Ravi Reddy (vice-chairman and now MD).


The DRT said, "It is represented by the counsel for the petitioner that the respondents Deccan Chronicle Holdings, T Vinayak Ravi Reddy and T Venkattram Reddy, against whom the show-cause notices were issued in the interlocutory applications, including the present application, have neither furnished security nor given explanation. Further, the respondents have also not filed their counters. Therefore, this tribunal is of the considered opinion that it is a fit case to pass attachment before judgment in respect of the schedule properties".


In another case, a court in Chadigarh has issued non-bailable warrant against directors of DCHL in a cheque bounce case filed by Religare Enterprises. According to media reports, the cheque for repayment of loans to Religare Finvest was signed by MS Reddy, who quit DCHL in December 2012.


Meanwhile, the annual general meeting (AGM) of the company, held in Hyderabad was wound up within half an hour, says media reports. The 10th AGM of the debt-laden DCHL was over in 10-20 minutes on Thursday, sparking outrage among irate shareholders and triggering moves for legal action by aggrieved key investors like financial institutions (FIs), one of the reports said.


According to the report, the Reddy brothers altogether skipped the AGM. PK Iyer, one of the three promoters, chaired the AGM and managed to get some resolutions passed, only to wind up the meeting soon after. The AGM only legitimised the debt levels by approving the borrowing limit at R5,000 crore besides the reappointment of directors on the board.


Few resolutions passed in the AGM including re-designation of T Vinayak Reddy, vice-chairman, appointment of CB Mouli & Associates as auditors and authorising the board on reserves and paid-up capital. All the three additional directors, V Lakshmana Charya, Venkateswarlu Malapaka and S Suresh, were appointed as independent directors of the company.

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