NDTV Frauds‘ is a book, exposing the frauds, corruption, and unholy nexus in the Indian media world. Considered as the fourth pillar on which the world’s biggest democracy rests, the authenticity of media has come under scanner many times and this book further re-establishes the belief that media is no more neutral. The books brings into light facts about so called journalists in big media house, like NDTV, who have tarnished the image of the holy profession and are mere business men who are submerged in the mire of corruption till their necks.
The book is a narrative of how two promoters of NDTV- Pranoy Roy and his wife, along with key top management colluded over the years with government functionaries and politicians to break laws evade taxes and deceive shareholders of a public listed company.
It traces the days, mid-80s,when Doordarshan had a monopoly and NDTV charged exorbitant rates for producing shows with the help of the bureaucrat lobby’s support. The book then goes on to examine the nepotism in NDTV and unethical practices in appointing journalists who were relatives of influential political leaders, bureaucrats, police. This practice buttressed their malpractices and they could manipulate the government machinery at their will. NDTV used pressure tactics to clinch a deal with Rupert Murdoch’s Star News and later “flipped the bird” at an opportune time. In between when the reigns got shifted from Congress to BJP in 1999, the NDTV promoters had a friend in the government – Arun Jaitely , Minister for I& B who flouted norms and discouraged any enquiry against the channel.
The golden period of NDTV begun during ten years of UPA rule from 2004 onwards where both Ministers P Chidambaram and Pranab Mukherjee had a soft corner for NDTV, which resulted in money flowing from all the tax international havens violating all norms of the Finance Ministry. The government turned a blind eye towards the brazen mockery of financial institutions by NDTV management. The book brings to surface various hurdles created by top politicians for minority shareholders Sanjay Dutt and Sanjay Jain of Quantum Securities Private Limited, IT Commissioner SK Srivastava, when they came up with a list of violations by fudging accounts, money laundering by floating shell companies across the world. The role of SEBI in ignoring several complaints relating to insider trading, disclosure violations and fraudulent trades raises an eye brow of the reader of this book. The unethical journalism by NDTV during Kargil war, Gujrat riots, Mumbai blasts are given as examples of how they have degraded the standard of media communication.
From 2015 onwards the media empire started to develop chinks and their trusted lieutenants started deserting them when NDTV was caught by the IT department in June 2016 and slapped a fine of Rs 525 crores. The book describes how the siphoning of Rs 146 crores into the personal accounts of Prannoy and Radhika Roy were caught. The book also talks about the role of some of the big corporates like Reliance and GE in conspiring to loot along with NDTV. The book has given excellent tabular presentations of the intricate financial irregularities that have taken place in NDTV.