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Infosys' settlement move fine: Mohandas Pai disagrees with whistleblower

The whistleblower has argued that a settlement was similar to a 'backdoor agreement' and has asked Sebi to reject Infosys' plea

Press Trust of India  |  Hyderabad 

Mohandas Pai: Right to speak
T V Mohandas Pai, Infosys' former chief financial officer. File photo

Infosys' move to settle with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) the alleged disclosure lapses involving a severance pact is "perfectly fine", the company's former chief financial officer, T V Mohandas Pai, said on Sunday.

He disagreed with the whistleblower who has reportedly asked the market regulator Sebi to prosecute the IT giant's management and board.

"Settlement is a normal process. Anybody can file for settlement consent decree from Sebi. There are very clear norms. Sebi can do it; it's Sebi's prerogative," Pai said.

On the whistleblower asking Sebi to prosecute the management as well as the board, he said, "That should be ignored. Consent order is fine. Sebi knows what to do best; leave it to Sebi."

The chairman of Aarin Capital and also Manipal Global Education Services stressed that consent decrees are a very normal part of any capital market.

"It happens all the time in the US. It happens in all capital markets because some things are difficult to prove; don't want to go through the ordeal of a regulatory action," he said.

"In capital markets all over the world, (do) file for consent so they get over any regulatory action where there is no fraud, misrepresentation or criminality," he said.

"So, there is no criminality and deliberateness. It's perfectly fine for the company to file consent," Pai said, adding that the matter in Infosys' case relates to lack of adequate and proper disclosure.

The whistleblower has argued that a settlement was similar to "backdoor agreement", and if Infosys is allowed to do so, then "no whistleblower in future will take the pain to expose any malpractices in the corporate sector".

The Bengaluru-headquartered company last week filed the application with Sebi to settle the issues around severance agreement with ex-CFO

The settlement applications for violation of typically involve payment of a financial penalty to avoid punishment in case allegations are proved right at a later stage.

First Published: Sun, December 10 2017. 13:34 IST