Hyderabad Police on Saturday arrested Ravi Prakash, former CEO of multilingual television news channel TV9, for alleged cheating by diverting company funds.
The police also took former Chief Financial Officer M.K.V.N. Murthy into custody. They were taken to Banjara Hills police station where they were being questioned.
The arrests were made after two cases were registered against them on a complaint by Alanda Media & Entertainment Pvt Ltd, which owns TV9 group of channels. The management alleged in their complaint that Ravi Prakash and Murthy withdrew Rs 18.31 crore from the bank accounts of the company from September 2018 to May 2019.
They allegedly withdrew the money without the permission of other directors of the company and claimed it to be their bonus. Another case was registered against them for selling TV9 logo. They were charged with cheating and criminal breach of trust.
This is the second time that Ravi Prakash and Murthy were booked by the police on the complaint of Alanda Media & Entertainment Pvt Ltd. They were earlier charged with forgery and cheating.
Ravi Prakash, who had been heading TV9 channel since its launch in 2004, was sacked in May as the CEO by Alanda Media, which last year acquired 90.54 per cent stake in Associated Broadcasting Pvt Ltd (ABCPL), then owner of the TV9 group of channels.
After evading arrest for nearly a month, Ravi Prakash had appeared before police on June 4 following the Supreme Court’s refusal to grant him anticipatory bail and asking him to appear before the investigators. He was questioned in the case. The well-known anchor claimed that he was falsely implicated.
The cases are a fallout of Ravi Prakash’s rift with Alanda after it acquired majority shares in ABCPL in August 2018 and nominated four persons to be appointed as directors on the board.
The company alleged that Ravi Prakash and Murthy resorted to unfair methods to block new directors from taking over. Alanda alleged that they had malafide intention of not allowing it to participate in the management of the ABCPL through its new directors.