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Independent directors of Raymond monitoring situation post Singhania's divorce

Source: PTI
December 01, 2023 14:31 IST
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Independent directors of Raymond Ltd on Friday said they are monitoring the situation arising out of the matrimonial dispute of company's chairman and managing director Gautam Singhania to ensure it does not affect his capacity to manage the affairs and business of the firm.

In a joint communication shared on BSE by the company, the independent directors also said they have decided to retain Berjis Desai, a senior independent legal counsel, who has no links with promoters or the company, for advising them.


"The independent directors (IDs), over the last few weeks, have been meeting and monitoring the situation so far as it affects the company and the minority shareholders; and reiterate their commitment to protect, at all times, the interests of non-promoter minority shareholders, employees and other stakeholders," the communication said.

It further said,"The IDs are alert to ensure that the matrimonial disputes between the two promoter directors do not in any manner affect the capacity of the CMD to manage the affairs and business of the company."

However, they asserted that "neither any law nor any corporate governance standard requires IDs to enquire into, investigate, or delve into the merits or otherwise, of such matrimonial disputes, which lie beyond the remit of the ID."

The independent directors shall continue to exercise utmost vigilance in watching the evolving situation and shall not hesitate to proactively initiate measures, the moment required, to protect the interests of all stakeholders.

Further, they said, "The IDs have decided to retain Berjis Desai, senior independent legal counsel, who has no links with the promoters or the company, for advising the IDs."

The development follows proxy advisory firm Institutional Investor Advisory Services (IiAS) asking the IDs to consider appointing an interim CEO and investigate the allegations of assault by Singhania on his wife and daughter, and use of company funds for personal benefit.

In an open letter to the company's five independent directors, IiAS had suggested that they ask both Singhania and his estranged wife Nawaz Modi, also a board member, to take time off from their responsibilities as board members.

The five independent directors to whom the letter was addressed are Mukeeta Jhaveri, Ashish Kapadia, Dinesh Lal, K Narsimha Murthy and Shiv Surinder Kumar.

IiAS, in its open letter on Tuesday, had also suggested to the independent directors that "to protect yourselves and delineate yourselves from the allegations, you may wish to retain independent legal counsel".

On Monday, Singhania, however, assured employees and board members that it is "business as usual" in the company and he is fully committed towards its smooth functioning.

In an internal mail to the employees and the board members of Raymond, Singhania, who announced separation from his wife Nawaz earlier this month, said he has chosen not to comment on the reports in media "about matters pertaining to my personal life", saying "maintaining the dignity of my family is paramount to me".

"However, I remain resolute as chairman & managing director and am fully committed towards the smooth functioning of the company and its business. Even in these difficult times for me, I assure you that at Raymond it is business as usual," he said in his mail.

Earlier this month, Singhania announced that he has separated from his wife Nawaz, in an announcement that comes amid speculation over the future of their 32-year relationship.

The billionaire industrialist, whose net worth is reported to be over Rs 11,000 crore, made the announcement over microblogging platform X, saying it was not the same Diwali as in the past.

The industrialist is helming the multi-decade old group having roots in textiles, which branched out into newer ones like real estate.

The couple has two children.

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