Market regulator Sebi today exonerated N Venkataraman, former director of Pyramid Saimira Theatre , saying that he was not a board member when financial irregularities took place at the firm. It said investigations into the company’s affairs have revealed that accounts were manipulated during 2007-08, before Venkataraman was appointed as a director in PSTL. An order of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said, “…the noticee (Venkataraman) was not a director of the company during the relevant year, i.e., 2007-08… the noticee was not a member of the audit committee of PSTL at any time during his tenure.
“After taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances of the case and material available on record… the case is accordingly disposed of.”
In April 2010, Sebi issued show cause notice to Venkataraman, who made a submission before it last December. Sebi said he was appointed as a non-executive independent director on the board of PSTL on June 30, 2008, and resigned from the directorship on February 24, 2009.
“Investigation observed that the accounts were allegedly manipulated for the financial year 2007-08, i.e., before the noticee was appointed director of the company,” Sebi said. Last year, Sebi alleged that Pyramid Saimira Theatre Ltd
(PSTL) inflated its revenues and profits by fictitious entries in its accounts. It barred PSTL MD P S Saminathan from trading in stock markets for 10 years.
In April this year, Sebi barred PSTL Chairman and whole-time Director V Natarajan and whole-time director N Narayanan from trading in securities or from holding similar positions in any listed company for up to three years for their role in the irregularities.
Earlier, it had barred three independent directors and members of the audit committee — K S Kasiraman, K Natarahjan and G Ramakrishnan — from holding a similar position in any listed company for two years for giving false and misleading statements.