Tehelka holding firm shows negative networth; auditors red-flag issues

Published Dec 1, 2013, 8:27 pm IST
Updated Mar 18, 2019, 9:23 pm IST
Filings made by Tehelka's holding company shows a negative networth with liabilities far exceeding its assets.

New Delhi: As Tarun Tejpal battles alleged sexual assault charges by a woman colleague, the filings made by Tehelka's holding company shows a negative networth with liabilities far exceeding its assets.

Besides, auditors have red-flagged issues like absence of an internal audit committee and non-payment of service tax, while investments into the publication are mired in complexities with existence of multiple layers of companies, shows its various regulatory filings with the Corporate Affairs Ministry.


In the wake of the scandal involving Tarun Tejpal, there have been reports that Tehelka group carried out dubious transactions through shell companies.

While there is no official word on any probe into these alleged irregularities, sources said the Corporate Affairs Ministry is yet to decide on whether to look into the issues regarding Tehelka and its related companies.

So far, the Ministry has not thought of taking any suo-motu action with regard to Tehelka companies, they added. Anant Media Private Ltd is the holding company of Tehelka Com Private Ltd - which owns the Tehelka publication group.


The holding entity was having a negative net worth of nearly Rs 13 crore, according to the firm's latest filings with the Corporate Affairs Ministry. In simpler terms, negative net worth indicates that the entity has more liabilities than assets.

Net worth is a key indicator of the company's financial soundness. At the end of March 2012, Anant Media had four directors -- Tarun Tejpal, his sister Neena Tejpal Sharma, Satish Mehta and Parveen Kumar Rathee.

During that period, directors and their relatives held about 21.80 per cent shareholding in Anant Media while 'bodies corporate' had 74.55 per cent stake. There were 21 shareholders in the company at the end of March 2012. Besides net worth, Anant Media's 'reserve and surplus' too was in the negative territory at around Rs 13 crore.


Meanwhile, the company's auditor - S.M. Varma & Co - had raised red flags including for not having an internal audit system for the 2011-12 period.

According to document availabe with the Ministry, the auditor had observed that the "company does not have any internal audit system". Also, the auditor had rasied objection to untimely payment of statutory dues and non payment of service tax that amounted to Rs 26,30,309.

In its response, the directors clarified that the company does not required to have an internal audit committee.

"... for untimely payment of statutory dues, the directors clarified that due to acute cash crunch, the dues though deposited, could not be deposited on time and regarding payment of service tax, out of total amounted reported to be due, Rs 17,05,812 is to be set off through input service credit & rest could not be paid as due to huge cash crunch but efforts are made to pay the balance very soon," as per the document. 


On the other hand, Anant Media is a subsidiary of Royal Building and Infrastructures Private Ltd, which has its registered office in Chandigarh. As per filings available till the year ended March 2013, Royal Building had an authorised capital of Rs 60 lakh and just three shareholders. Moreover, Royal Building is the subsidiary of KDS Corporation Private Ltd.