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Troubles yet to be over for Ness Wadia as Britannia Industries seeks legal opinion on his position after drug case

Independent directors of Wadia Group's Brittania Industries have sought legal opinion on the continuance of Ness Wadia as director after he was arrested and his sentence suspended in Japan for the possession of cannabis recently.

This development took place after Chairman Nusli Wadia presented before the board the opinion of the country's top jurist Fali S Nariman who had endorsed Ness staying on as director, reported The Economic Times quoting people in the know of the matter.

With the insistence of the independent board members seeking external legal opinion, the Britannia Industries' board reportedly turned to the retired chief justice of Supreme Court, TS Thakur, for opinion over the issue, the report said.

 Troubles yet to be over for Ness Wadia as Britannia Industries seeks legal opinion on his position after drug case

File image of Ness Wadia. AFP

Ness was reportedly sentenced for a two-year jail term in Japan for possession of drugs. He was found in possession of 25 grams of cannabis resin, for which he has been sentenced.

Wadia was arrested in March at New Chitose Airport in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Reacting to the report, a Wadia group spokeperson said Ness is in India, reported PTI.

"The judgement is clear. It is a suspended sentence. Hence, it will not impact Ness Wadia in the discharge of any of his responsibilities and he will continue to play the role that he has done hitherto, both within the Group and outside," the spokesperson added.

According to the report, the Sapporo District Court handed Ness a two-year prison sentence, which was suspended for five years.

He spent a period in detention before his indictment on 20 March and an undisclosed period of detention before a court hearing, it added.

Ness, 47, is the eldest son of group chairman Nusli Wadia, one of India’s richest tycoons with a net worth of $7 billion, according to Forbes.

Ness is director in major firms of the Wadia group, including Bombay Dyeing and Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Ltd.

Meanwhile, the arrest and subsequent suspension of five-year sentence to Ness, heir to the 283-year-old Wadia Group and co-owner of Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kings XI Punjab, would not affect his position as director of the board of companies.

Ness is the director in major firms of the Wadia Group, including Bombay Dyeing and Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Ltd.

However, according to a report on NDTV, the arrest of Ness could lead to the suspension of Kings XI Punjab team from the IPL.

With PTI inputs

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Updated Date: May 03, 2019 16:54:12 IST