Infosys may deny severance pay to former CFO Rajiv Bansal over data deletion that 'caused financial loss'

IT major Infosys has reportedly claimed it suffered losses post deletion of some company data by former chief financial officer (CFO) Rajiv Bansal, who erased data from his laptop. Infosys believes Bansal's actions will influence the final verdict in a dispute over his severance package.

However, “Bansal's (lawyers) defended his action saying it is normal for senior executives who leave an organisation to delete data in their official systems and the company should have stored such sensitive data on its servers,” sources close to the development were quoted as saying by The Economic Times.

In a hearing that took place a week ago before the sole arbitrator — former Supreme Court (SC) Justice RV Raveendran  — Bansal’s legal team questioned Infosys for backtracking on its commitment to hand out the severance package, the newspaper said.

 Infosys may deny severance pay to former CFO Rajiv Bansal over data deletion that caused financial loss

A file photo of Rajiv Bansal.

Last month, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) accepted a consent plea by Infosys, filed in December 2017, seeking a settlement of charges of disclosure lapses regarding the severance agreement signed with Bansal.

Infosys, in a regulatory filing, had said that 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," Infosys in the regulatory filing to the BSE in December.

Settlement procedures for violations of disclosure norms typically involve payment of a penalty to avoid punishment, in case allegations are proved right at a later stage.

Infosys, under new chairman Nandan Nilekani, moved the application as part of its attempt to settle issues that had cropped up during the tenure of former CEO Vishal Sikka.

The company said it wants to resolve allegations that state the firm did not seek prior and separate approval of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee and the Audit Committee in relation to Bansal's settlement process.

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 disbursing Rs 5 crore as co-founder NR Narayana Murthy and others objected to the package, saying it was excessive.

Bansal's severance payout was one of the contentious issues Infosys founders raised to allege governance lapses at the Bengaluru-based firm. Murthy questioned the firm, asking it if the same was paid as "hush money".

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: May 03, 2018 12:44:51 IST