NDTV denies reports of takeover by SpiceJet's Ajay Singh

Reports that SpiceJet's Ajay Singh is taking over majority holding in NDTV are baseless, sources in the news channel clarified to The Hindu. A formal statement on the issue is expected by this evening.

Earlier reports, originating from the The Indian Express, claimed that New Delhi Television Limited, one of the country's oldest private news channels, which was founded by Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy in 1988, will change hands soon.

The reports said the founders will become minority shareholders with 20 per cent shares, while Singh will have 40 per cent shares.

"Not even a single sentence of these reports is true," a senior NDTV official told The Hindu.

The last few months have been eventful for NDTV. On 5 June, the Central Bureau of Investigation had conducted raids at the residences of the Roys.

Calling the raids a "blatant attack on the freedom of the press", NDTV said the CBI had filed its First Information Report based on a "shoddy complaint" by a "disgruntled" former NDTV consultant who has not obtained a "single order from the courts".

Former Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu had imposed a one-day ban on NDTV in November last year for its coverage of the Pathankot attack.

The government claimed that NDTV imperiled national security by broadcasting sensitive details about the Pathankot air base. The ban was, however, not implemented after strong protests from journalists and the Supreme Court agreeing to hear NDTV's plea against it.