Narayana Murthy May Question Nandan Nilekani Over Panaya Probe

Infosys Co-Founder said that he is not going to keep quiet, says an ex-company official.

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Narayana Murthy May Question Nandan Nilekani Over Panaya Probe

Infosys' board was anyways not expected to "publicly admit to wrongdoing", says an official.

Hyderabad: Infosys Co-Founder N R Narayana Murthy may pursue his questions on "poor governance" at the company and take up the issue with Chairman Nandan Nilekani, sources close to Murthy said. "I spoke to Murthy, he has gone abroad yesterday. He said he will come back and talk to Nandan. He said he is not going to keep quiet," said an ex-Infosys official, who is on the same page with Murthy on the issues raised by him. The Bengaluru-headquartered company on Tuesday absolved itself of any wrongdoing vis-a-vis the Panaya deal, as well as severance pay to its former chief financial officer, in what is seen as a snub to Murthy.

Another former official of Infosys, on condition of anonymity, said the board was anyways not expected to "publicly admit to wrongdoing". "If the board comes out and says they have done something

wrong, there will be class-action lawsuit on the company; so they have to say nothing wrong to protect the company," the official said.

So, the clean chit given to the company is being seen as some kind of a balancing act by Nilekani to "protect" the company, the official added.

The official noted that when former CFO Rajiv Bansal's severance pay issue was raised, the company "stopped payment" and also claimed that "almost all members of the mergers and acquisitions team were told to go" when questions were asked about the Panaya deal. He added that Infosys replaced Rupa Kudva as chairperson of the audit committee with independent director D Sundaram.

"So, they have taken some internal action but they can't publicly admit there was a mistake," the official claimed.

Murthy on Tuesday expressed disappointment that none of the questions raised by him on "poor governance" had been answered by the company's board with transparency.

His comments came after Infosys board under chairman Nilekani gave a clean chit to the company's $200 million Panaya acquisition. The board also refused to put out additional details of the probe, as had been demanded by Murthy.

Murthy said he stood by every question on "poor governance" raised in his speech, dated August 29, 2017, to Infosys investors.

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He asserted that the core question still remained on "how and why the Infosys board approved an unusual and unprecedented severance payment agreement of 1,000 per cent (of the standard Infosys employment contracts) to the former CFO...".

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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