Infosys today said it has approached Sebi with an application to settle the issues arising out of alleged disclosure lapses on the severance package paid to its former CFO, Rajiv Bansal. India's second-largest IT firm, in a regulatory filing, said the settlement application made to Sebi was neither admission of guilt nor a denial. It, however, did not disclose what it had proposed in the settlement application. "The settlement application process is based on an undertaking that the applicant will neither admit nor deny the finding of fact or conclusion of law," said Infosys in the regulatory filing to the BSE. Infosys will provide an update upon the conclusion of the confidential settlement process. Settlement applications for violation of disclosure norms typically involve payment of a financial penalty to avoid punishment in case allegations were proved right at a later stage. Infosys, under new Chairman Nandan Nilekani, moved the application as part of its attempt to settle the issues that had cropped up during the tenure of former CEO Vishal Sikka. The move comes within days of Infosys naming former Capgemini top executive Salil Parekh as its new CEO.
He will take over on January 2, 2018, for five years. The company said it wants to resolve allegations around it of not seeking prior and separate approval of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee and the Audit Committee in relation to Bansal's settlement process. The application also relates to disclosures pertaining to the severance agreement, cessation of payments and initiation of arbitration under the severance pact, it added. Infosys had agreed to pay Bansal a severance amount of Rs 17.38 crore or 24 months of salary, but the company suspended payments after he got Rs 5 crore as co-founder N R Narayana Murthy and others objected to the package as excessive. Bansal's severance payout has been one of the contentious issues Infosys founders had raised to allege governance lapses at the Bengaluru-based firm. Murthy had raised questions asking if the same was paid as "hush money". In February, R Seshasayee -- who was the chairman of the Infosys board at that point -- had clarified that the remaining amount was withheld pending clarifications on the terms of the severance contract. He had also admitted that the "judgement" could have differed if circumstances were different or if certain processes had been in place.
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