Jeevan Telecasting Corporation Limited, a public limited company, which runs the Malayalam television channel Jeevan TV, has expelled two Bishops of Syro-Malabar Archdiocese from its director board.

The move comes at the end of a prolonged battle over the control of the channel.

The Bishops, Mar Andrews Thazhath and Mar Jacob Thoomkuzhy, were expelled at an extraordinary general body meeting held at Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. An appeal, filed on behalf of the Bishops at the Company Law Board was rejected and the matter was brought to the notice of High Court.

Baby Mathew Somatheeram, who heads the company, told The Hindu that the decision of the Board was approved by the court two days ago.

Forum formed

The expulsion has come at the end of a series of boardroom battles over the control of the company. A section of the shareholders, under the banner of ‘Save Jeevan TV’, had been opposing the removal of the Bishops.

The company, started initially with the funding of the public and the church, had changed hands within a year of operation following losses.

Two trusts, Matha Jeevan Trust and Jeevan Charitable Trust, associated with the church, are holding 13.5 per cent shares, while a group of businessmen such as C.K.Menon and Joy Alukkas and Baby Mathew possesses over 70 per cent of shares.

The crisis began when 10 members of the 15-member director board had to resign a few years ago on technical grounds as prior permission required from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for their appointment had not been received.

There was an understanding to reinstate them once the clearance is given by the Union ministry. But attempts were reportedly made by the truncated board to prevent the re-entry of the former members.

The permission given to Thrissur Archbishop to nominate six persons to the board, at the time of formation of the company, facilitated entry of new persons, which was opposed by the majority shareholders’ representatives.

It was against this background that an extraordinary general body meeting was convened and the two Bishops were expelled.

The battle may not end here as the rival group can approach higher court, according to sources.

The company, started initially with the funding of the public and the church, had changed hands within a year of operation following losses

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