Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani on Tuesday said the company's audit committee will conduct an independent investigation on whistleblower allegations of CEO Salil Parekh and CFO Nilanjan Roy indulging in "unethical practices" to boost short-term revenue and profits.
The committee began consultation with independent internal auditors EY, and has retained law firm, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. to conduct an independent investigation, Nilekani noted in his statement to the stock exchanges.
Nilekani said one board member had received two anonymous complaints on September 30, 2019 - one dated September 20, 2019, titled “Disturbing unethical practices” and an undated note with the title, “Whistleblower Complaint”.
He said both had been placed before the audit committee on October 10, 2019, and before the non-executive members of the board the following day.
"Post the board meeting of October 11, 2019, the audit committee began consultation with the independent internal auditors (Ernst & Young) on terms of reference for their prima facie investigation. The audit committee has now retained the law firm of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. (October 21, 2019), to conduct an independent investigation," Nilekani noted in his statement.
The board, in consultation with the audit committee, will take such steps as may be appropriate based on the outcome of the investigation, he added.
The whistleblower complaint by a group that calls itself "ethical employees" had alleged CEO Salil Parekh and CFO Nilanjan Roy were indulging in "unethical practices" to boost short-term revenue and profits.
"We have high respect for all of you and bring to your notice the unethical practices of CEO in recent quarters. Same measures are taken up in the current quarter also to boost short term revenue and profits," the letter addressed to the board of directors dated September 20, read.
The whistleblowers said they have emails and voice recordings on these matters.
Infosys on Monday had said the whistleblower complaint has been placed before the audit committee as per the company's practice, and that it will be dealt with in accordance with the company's whistleblowers policy.
Nilekani, in his statement on Tuesday, said the company was made aware of another letter (dated October 3) that was purportedly written to the Office of Whistleblower protection program, Washington DC. This letter referred to the September 20, 2019, complaint, and to emails and voice recordings in support of the allegations.
"These complaints are being dealt with in an objective manner. The undated whistleblower complaint largely deals with allegations relating to the CEO’s international travel to the US and Mumbai," Nilekani pointed out.