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By Krishna N. Das and Aditya Kalra
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp is investigating the methods partner KPMG uses to crack down on the illegal use of its software in India, after a complaint from a senior member of the country's ruling political party, documents seen by Reuters showed.
India is one of the U.S. technology firm's biggest markets in Asia, yet over half of all software installed on computers in the country is unlicensed, advocacy group Business Software Alliance said in 2016.
To ensure compliance, Microsoft runs a global "software asset management" (SAM) programme under which it partners global consultants, such as KPMG in India, which seek permission from business owners to check for the use of unlicensed software.
Last month, Vinit Goenka, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and technology adviser to the government, complained to both companies that a KPMG employee "barged in" to his Mumbai recruitment firm without an appointment to check its software, according to emails reviewed by Reuters.
Sodhi did not respond to a request for comment.
Microsoft told Reuters its SAM programme is run as per global standards, while KPMG said it follows "appropriate procedures agreed in our engagement with clients". Both declined to comment on the alleged incident and probe.
The employee, who identified himself in the emails as Srijesh, declined to comment.
Goenka confirmed the incident and complaint, telling Reuters the handful of computers at his company, Ratein Infotech, used genuine software. He said he planned to file a police complaint against both companies.
Ratein Infotech last month received a letter from the U.S. software firm saying it needed help in "interpreting licensing policies of Microsoft", the emails showed. The issue escalated when the KPMG employee entered Ratien's office on March 15.
Microsoft and KPMG apologised and the employee, Srijesh, resigned, the e-mails showed.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)