The Bombay High Court on Tuesday allowed an appeal filed by Invesco Developing Markets Fund, the largest shareholder of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (Zee), against a single-judge order granting an interim injunction on holding an EGM to remove Zee's CEO Punit Goenka. A division bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and Milind Jadhav quashed and set aside the single bench order of October 2021.
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"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," the court said. Senior counsel Aspi Chinoy, appearing for Zee, sought the court to direct for a status quo to be maintained.
The court then directed for the status quo to be maintained for a period of three weeks. The bench also said it has quashed all the observations made by the single bench in its order.
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 that it felt the company was not running as smoothly as desired. The firm sought to remove three directors from 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 the 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 against holding of the EGM.
Subsequently, Invesco filed an appeal against the interim injunction order on the ground that the high court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter and that it ought to have been heard and decided by the NCLT.
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