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Bombay High Court Sets Aside Interim Order In Favour Zee Entertainment In Battle With Invesco

Sharmeen Hakim
22 March 2022 9:12 AM GMT
Bombay High Court Sets Aside Interim Order In Favour Zee Entertainment In Battle With Invesco
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A division bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday allowed an application filed by US investment firm Invesco Developing Markets Fund, the largest shareholder of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (Zee), against a single judge's order granting interim injunction to Zee and restraining the investor from holding an Extraordinary General Body Meeting. Invesco moved the division...

A division bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday allowed an application filed by US investment firm Invesco Developing Markets Fund, the largest shareholder of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (Zee), against a single judge's order granting interim injunction to Zee and restraining the investor from holding an Extraordinary General Body Meeting.

Invesco moved the division bench against Zee and its CEO Punit Goenka on the grounds that the high court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter and that it ought to have been heard and decided by the NCLT.

On Tuesday, a division bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and Milind Jadhav said, "The appeal is allowed. The single bench order is quashed and set aside. We have held that the requisition notice (sent by Invesco to Zee) is neither illegal nor incapable of being set aside."

Pursuant to Senior counsel Aspi Chinoy's request the bench said status quo would be maintained for three weeks.

The bench also said it has quashed all the observations made by the single bench in its order. A detailed copy of the order is awaited.

Invesco moved the court against Justice G.S. Patel's October 2021 order, injuncting them in a petition filed by Zee against Invesco. Zee sought a declaration that Invesco's requisition notice against it was illegal.

In September 2021, Invesco had put out a requisition to the Zee Board of Directors to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on the grounds of management faults.

Invesco, which holds 17.88% sought to remove three directors from the Zee's Board, including Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Punit Goenka.

When Zee refused to respond to the requisition, Invesco moved an application before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Mumbai, which directed Zee to consider the requisition in accordance with law.

Zee then approached the high court, seeking a declaration that the requisition notice by Invesco to hold the EGM was illegal and invalid.

A single bench of Justice Gautam Patel had in October 2021 in an interim order granted an injunction on taking steps pursuant to the notice.

Appearances – Sr Advocates Janak Dwarkadas, Ravi Kadam, Sharan Jagtiani, Somasekhar Sundaresan, along with Advocates Cyrus Ardeshir, Gaurav Mehta, Rishika Harish, Bhavik Mehta, Kingshuk Banerjee, Tomu Francis, Praktruti Joshi, Zacarias Joseph, Ritvik Kulkarni and Tikshata Modi instructed by Dhruve Liladhar and Co. for the Appellants.

Sr Advocates Aspi Chinoy, Navroz Seervai, Pesi Modi, Dr. Birendra Saraf, along with advocates Prateek Saksaria, Nitesh Jain, Atul Jain, Mr. Adrish Guha, Vatsala Kumar, Ritika Ajitsaria and Brihad Ralhan instructed by Trilegal for Respondent No.1.

Mr. Zal Andhyarujina, Senior Advocate alongwith Mr. Suhail Nathani, Ms. Mumtaz Bhalla, Mr. Manendra Singh, Mr. Chanakya Keswani, Mr. Neeraj Malik, Mr. Nausher Kohli and Ms. Maithili Parikh instructed by Economic Laws Practice for Respondent No.2.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 94


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