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NDTV founders detained at city airport; Roys say fake case

Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika were traveling to an undisclosed destination and were scheduled to return on August 16, the company said.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 09, 2019, 10.03 PM IST
NDTV promoters, Prannoy and Radhika Roy, detained at Mumbai airport; company says fake case
NDTV promoters, Prannoy and Radhika Roy, detained at Mumbai airport; company says fake case
Mumbai: Based on a look out circular (LoC) opened by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) NDTV co-founders, Dr Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika were prevented from travelling abroad by the immigration officials at the Mumbai international airport.

“On Friday afternoon, when the couple was queued up for immigration clearance, they were asked by the officials to step aside and were made to wait in the immigration office. Upon informing the CBI about the couple’s plan of travelling abroad and the preventive action taken by them based on the LoC, the Roys were permitted to return by the officials,” said a person in the know of the development.

Confirming the preventive action, CBI spokesperson told ET, “... A LoC was recently opened by the agency in connection with an ongoing probe against the promoters of NDTV. Acting on the same the immigration officials stopped the couple from travelling abroad on Friday”.

Following the incident, in a series of tweets posted by NDTV, the media company termed the action as "complete subversion of media freedom". “...In a complete subversion of basic rights, NDTV founders Radhika and Prannoy Roy were today prevented from leaving the country," tweet posted on the official handle of the channel read. "Both journalists had tickets to return to India on the 16th, just a week later. They have been stopped from traveling abroad on the basis of a fake and wholly unsubstantiated corruption case initiated by the CBI that was filed two years ago," it stated "...and in which Radhika and Prannoy Roy have been fully cooperating. Today’s action is, along with events like raids on media owners, a warning to the media to fall in line- or else,” it added further.

The CBI has been probing a complaint against NDTV promoters , RRPR Holdings Pvt Ltd and unnamed bank officials for allegedly causing losses to ICICI bank. According to the complaint. “...the promoters of NDTV — Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy and M/s RRPR Holdings Pvt Ltd, acting in criminal conspiracy with unknown officials of ICICI bank, violated section 19(2) of the Banking Regulation Act, the Master Circular DBOD No. Dir B90/13.07.05/98-99 dated 28.08.1998 of the Reserve Bank of India and in furtherance of the conspiracy, ICICI bank took the entire shareholding of the promoters in NDTV (nearly 61 %) as collateral and then accepted prepayment of the loan by reducing the interest rate from 19 % p.a to nearly 9.5 % p.a and as a consequence thereof, causing a wrongful loss of ₹48 crore to ICICI bank and a corresponding wrongful gain to the promoters of NDTV — Dr. Prannoy Roy, Smt Radhika Roy and M/s RRPR Holdings Pvt Ltd”.

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