Videocon Chief Venugopal Dhoot Fined Rs5 Lakh for Non-disclosure of Interests in Related Parties
Moneylife Digital Team 04 April 2023
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has imposed a fine of Rs5 lakh on Videocon group founder Venugopal Dhoot for not making disclosures of his interests (shares) in Supreme Energy Private Ltd (SEPL) at the time of grant of loan by Videocon to SEPL. 
In the order, Sahil Malik, chief general manager (CGM) of SEBI, says, “(Mr) Dhoot has submitted that nondisclosure was an accidental omission. In this regard, I note that Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), through various judgments, has consistently observed that these factors are not valid grounds for not complying with the statutory obligations. I believe violations committed by Mr Dhoot are grave and a penalty be imposed commensurate with the said violations.”
The market regulator investigated certain quid pro quo arrangements between Mr Dhoot and Chanda Kochhar, the then managing director and chief executive director (MD&CEO) of ICICI Bank Ltd. In the course of the examination of allegations, various submissions were made by Videocon Industries to SEBI. In the submissions, the company stated that Mr Dhoot did not disclose his interest (99.9% shares) in Supreme Energy.
Videocon further submitted that Mr Dhoot did not reveal his interests in Quality Techno Advisors Pvt Ltd (QTAPL) or Credential Finance Ltd (CFL). Videocon group held 12.08 lakh shares or 24.7% stake in CFL during 2000, which was reduced to 6.83 lakh shares in 2014. However, from FY09-10 to FY14-15, Videocon Industries did not mention CFL as its related party in its annual reports.
Before its acquisition by Deepak Kochhar, the husband of Chanda Kochhar, former MD&CEO of ICICI Bank, QTAPL was owned by Tek-care India Ltd (TCIL) and Evans Fraser and Co (I) Ltd (EFCIL), two group companies of Videocon. However, Mr Dhoot did not disclose that QTAPL was a related party.
Finding Mr Dhoot guilty of non-disclosure of his interests in related parties to Videocon, SEBI directed him to pay within 45 days a penalty of Rs5 lakh.
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