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‘Ask Nilekani or God’: SEBI Chief on Infosys’ Irregularities

A letter accused CEO Salil Parekh of bypassing approvals for larger deals to avoid any negative impact on shares.

Updated
India
2 min read
Infosys stocks were trading over 13 percent lower at Rs 667.40 a share after falling as much as Rs 645.35 a piece.
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Infosys on Wednesday, 6 November, issued a statement strongly condemning what it calls ‘mischievous insinuations’ made by anonymous sources who alleged the role of founders and former colleagues in recent allegations made by whistleblowers.

According to Livemint, Chairman of Infosys, Nilekani, on Wednesday, lashed out claiming that he was ‘appalled by the allegations’ that are aimed at tarnishing the reputation of respected individuals who served the company selflessly and are committed to its long term prosperity.

“Even God cannot change the numbers of the company,” Nilekani had said.

Commenting on Nilekani’s statement, SEBI chief Ajay Tyagi on Friday, 8 November, said, “You have to ask him (Nilekani) or you can actually ask God and I’ve nothing to say on this issue,” reported Money Control.

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SEBI is reportedly investigating the tech giant and a statement from the Board states: “Investors should draw their own conclusions. We are looking into the matter and we have shared some information with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). It is confidential between two regulators."

The row started with a letter accusing CEO Salil Parekh of bypassing approvals for larger deals in order to circumvent any negative impact on shares due to low profits.

The company’s shares had plummeted 17 percent, obliterating Rs 53,000 crore of investor money on 22 October after these allegations of unethical practices first surfaced.

On 24 October, the NSE sought clarification from the IT major on the whistleblowers’ allegations and on why the company had not disclosed them to the exchanges.

"With respect to the anonymous complaints, there is no prima facie evidence that the company has received until date to corroborate any of the allegations made," Infosys told the National Stock Exchange, in its letter.

Infosys has stated that its audit committee has brought in an law firm to conduct independent investigations in to the allegations made. They further added that the findings of the law firm will be made public at a relevant time.

Although Infosys shares went up by Rs 2 (Rs 707 per share), it continues to face probe by the American market regulators the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC); however, Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has sought additional information.

(With inputs from PTI, NDTV and Livemint)

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