Published: Tue, October 22, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Whistleblower complaints are investigated independently: Nandan Nilekani

Whistleblower complaints are investigated independently: Nandan Nilekani

This is the highest single-day fall for the software major in over six years. Till Tuesday afternoon, the stock touched a low of Rs 645, a level that was last reached on December 26, 2018.

The 15% intra-day fall is the most in almost six years - the last time the company's shares fell more than this was on April 12, 2013.

Accusing CFO Roy of being hand-in-glove with CEO Parekh, the insiders said he complied with unethical practices, restraining ethical employees from showing large deal issues to the board during presentations.

India's second largest IT services firm Infosys on Monday said it has placed the whistleblower complaint - which alleges that the company is taking unethical steps to increase short-term revenue and profits - before its audit committee. One of them was dated on September 20, 2019, and a second one which was undated.

Post the board meeting of October 11, 2019, the Audit Committee began consultations with the independent internal auditors (Ernst &Young) on the terms of reference for their prima facie investigation. The undated whistleblower complaint largely deals with allegations relating to the CEO's global travel to the United States and Mumbai.

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"Parekh and Roy have been resorting to unethical practices for many quarters, as evident from their e-mails and voice recordings of their conversations", said the complainants, who called themselves "ethical employees" in a two page letter to the city-based IT behemoth's board of directors on September 20, a copy of which has been accessed by IANS. "Although we have not been provided with any of the emails or voice recordings, we will ensure that the generalised allegations are investigated to the fullest extent", the statement said. "At an appropriate time, we will provide a summary of the investigation results", he stressed. The board is committed to uphold the highest standard of corporate governance and protect the interests of all stakeholders. And when the auditor pointed it out, the issue was postponed by the company, they alleged. "We have voice recordings of these conversations". In a complaint letter to the board of Infosys and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the anonymous employees' group had claimed they were asked not to "fully recognise costs like visa costs" in last quarter to show more profit.

"Critical information is hidden from the auditors and board", said the letter.

Another complaint being raised in the letter is Parekh's weekly trips to ECity and Mumbai on company expenses.

In a statement, Infosys said: "The whistleblower complaint has been placed before the Audit Committee as per the Company's practice and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company's whistleblowers policy".

Infosys has received whistleblower complaints in the past too, over alleged governance lapses. Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani was then brought in as Chairman to steer the company. The allegations come just two years after Infosys endured a shake-up that saw its top boss Vishal Sikka leave the company.

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