Bombay High Court rejects Dish TV promoters’ plea against Yes Bank

The Bombay High Court on Friday rejected promoter World Crest Advisors’ plea to restrain YES Bank from voting at the company’s extraordinary general meeting on June 24.

The development is the latest in the dispute between Dish TV chairman and managing director Jawahar Goel and YES Bank, a lender to the direct-to-home broadcaster, over corporate governance and fundraising plans.

holds 24.19% stake in the company.

Justice AK Menon rejected the petition as ad-interim relief seeking to restrain Catalyst Trusteeship and Yes Bank from participating in and/or exercising any right, including voting rights, at the EGM. Catalyst Trusteeship is the security trustee for the shares that were pledged to Yes Bank.

“In my view no case is made out for ad-interim relief on the basis of the arguments advanced before me,” he said in the order. “The review petition continues to be pending. Contentious issues have been raised as to the legal capacity of the bank, since the applicant has contended that the bank is not a nominee but an alleged transferee. The applicant has not made out a prima facie case nor is the balance of convenience favouring grant of relief. No irreparable harm is likely to be caused to the plaintiff/applicant. There is no occasion to once again consider grant of relief.”

The plaintiff had also sought permission to exercise their voting rights with respect to pledged shares.

World Crest Advisors is now likely to challenge the order in front of a division bench, said sources in Dish TV.

Originally, World Crest Advisors had sought the court’s intervention to declare it the owner of over 440 million shares (about 24.19% equity) of the company that its lender, YES Bank, holds.

However, on December 23, 2021, the court said it was not inclined to grant any relief (to World Crest) but the result/outcome of the AGM, which was to be held on December 30 would be subject to the outcome of the case.

Later, on December 30, Dish TV, in a notice to the stock exchanges, claimed that the high court had directed it to disclose voting results after the final hearing.

It was in May 2020 when YES Bank invoked promoters’ pledged shares in Dish TV, taking control of 24.19% stake in the company.

On September 24, ET had reported that the dispute between Dish TV’s Goel and YES Bank was headed for the court.

The bank wants to dissolve the entire board and remove the promoter family. It believes the board is functioning in cahoots with the minority shareholders (the promoters), who should not have representation on the board.

Dish TV, which has been trying to raise funds for some time, wanted to go ahead with a Rs 1,000-crore rights issue, the proceeds of which were to be used to acquire new customers and for marketing and promotions. The lender had objected to the issue.

In this case, senior counsels JP Sen and Venkatesh Dhond along with Gathi Prakash of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas appeared for YES Bank and Catalyst Trusteeship, while senior advocate Navroz Seervai and Shreni Shetty of ANB Legal appeared for the World Crest Advisors.

BSE-listed

is being represented by senior counsel Aspi Chinoy and Rugved More of L&L Partners.

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