At Greater Kailash’s upscale M-block market, chartered accountant Sanjay Dutt, 50, runs a stockbroking firm, Quantum Securities Pvt Ltd. Dutt as well as his partner Sanjay Jain had been with NDTV as financial consultants in 2006 but fell out with it within two years.
Over the years since then, Dutt has filed a series of complaints — so has Jain — against NDTV’s promoters with the income tax department, SEBI, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the Enforcement Directorate, alleging tax fraud, money laundering and FEMA violations.
It was on one of Dutt’s complaints that CBI registered an FIR against NDTV founders Radhika Roy and Prannoy Roy, their company RRPR Holdings P Ltd and ICICI Bank, leading to raids on the Roys’ premises. Dutt’s complaint accuses the Roys of criminal conspiracy to dupe ICICI of Rs 48 crore — an amount that Dutt has calculated on the basis of an ICICI loan of Rs 350 crore to RRPR in 2008-09.
Dutt himself, along with his wife Prenita and brokerage firm, was fined Rs 48 lakh by SEBI in January 2013, over charges of fraudulent and unfair trade practices. Dutt was also examined by the CBI Tuesday, apparently in connection with his complaint.
In a statement, NDTV has described Dutt as a “disgruntled former consultant” and his complaint as “shoddy”. It said he “has been making false allegations and filing cases in courts of law with these false allegations. So far, he has not obtained a single order from any of these courts.”
Asked about this, Dutt said, “The matter is sub judice before the court and investigating agencies have started their probe. I would not like to make any comment.”
For his part, Dutt claims to have had family relations with the Roys. In a statement to the deputy commissioner of income tax on July 7, 2015, in connection with one of his complaints, Dutt had said he “had family relations with Dr Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy for over 30 years and he studied with Vikramaditya Chandra, group CEO, in Doon School during the period 1977-80”.
Dutt had launched Quantum Securities in 1993-94, as per official records. According to a statement he submitted to the income tax department, the company at one point held shares of NDTV ranging from “100 to 17,00,000 in number at various times and in 2006-07, the value of his shareholding was more than Rs 70 crore”. The statement claims he was part of the core group led by Chandra, in active consultation with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and KPMG, which included the Roys and “Mr Rao” (K V L Narayan Rao) and this group was referred to as ‘Nines’.
In his depositions made before public authorities, Dutt has stated that he and Jain quit NDTV as he became aware that “the real purpose was to route the money without any intention of paying taxes and in violation of various legal provisions”.
Dutt, who split from NDTV in 2008, filed his first complaint against the promoters in March 2013, with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, according to the ministry.
He has since complained to SEBI, the income tax department and the ED, and approached Delhi High Court where the matter he raised is listed as “pending”. In May 2016, Dutt filed a complaint with Delhi police’s Economic Offence Wing. Asked about it, Dutt this, “I have filed the complaint to Delhi police. It is still pending with them.”
In November 2014, following a complaint by NDTV, Bombay High Court had issued an order restraining Quantum Securities and Dutt from issuing or publishing any defamatory content against NDTV. Dutt maintained that he had never defamed NDTV and that his allegations were only against Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy and their company.