Harassed by ‘frivolous’ criticism, Azim Premji and spouse transfer SC

NEW DELHI: Software program mogul and philanthropist Azim Hasham Premji and his spouse Yaseem have moved the Supreme Courtroom in search of quashing of summons issued to them by a Bengaluru courtroom in “frivolous legal complaints” towards merger of three firms — Vidya, Regal and Napean — with Hasham Funding and Buying and selling Firm, all owned by the Premji group.
Premji and his spouse, by advocate Mahesh Agrawal, stated the three firms, which have been shaped in 1974 and whose shareholdings have been interlinked in 1980 that any of the 2 owned the third one, have been merged with Hasham in 2015 after the RBI gave in-principle approval adopted by the Karnataka Excessive Courtroom’s inexperienced sign to the merger scheme.

They suspected that the trigger behind the criticism was a partnership gone awry with Subhiksha’s R Subramanian. A Premji group agency needed to file legal complaints towards a Subramanian-owned firm for bouncing of cheques value crores of rupees in 2013, which remains to be pending. Agrawal claimed the legal complaints filed by NGO ‘India Awake Transparency’ was masterminded by Subramanian almost three years after the merger passed off, full info of which was given to SEBI, inventory exchanges and the ministry of firm affairs in 2015.
What stunned the Premjis was the trial courtroom’s choice to summon them with out even conducting a preliminary inquiry into the veracity of the NGO’s complaints and the Karnataka HC refusing to entertain their plea towards dealing with trial in a “motivated case” geared toward disrupting the Wipro-led software program trade and Azim Premji Belief’s philanthropic actions.
The petitioners informed the SC that on the identical strains of the legal complaints earlier than the Bengaluru trial courtroom, petitions have been filed earlier than the Delhi Excessive Courtroom and NCLAT 4 instances between February 2018 and September 2019. Every of them have been dismissed by the HC and the appellate tribunal whereas cumulatively imposing Rs four lakh in prices on those that had filed the petitions towards merger of the businesses. The husband-wife duo firmly imagine that these 4 petitions too have been filed with Subramanian’s collusion.
On the philanthropy entrance, the Premjis informed the SC that since 2010, when the belief was shaped, that they had donated greater than Rs 1,50,000 crore for numerous charitable work. “In instances of the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be an general dedication of Rs 1,125 crore in the direction of the trigger. The Premjis have been finishing up numerous aid actions throughout the nation, supplementing and aiding the federal government in Covid-related aid work. The mischievous problem by the NGO to the amalgamation is disrupting not solely the Premjis but additionally the flexibility of their group to contribute to society by charity,” the petition stated.
The Premjis have challenged the Karnataka HC’s Might 15 choice refusing to quash the legal complaints filed by the NGO earlier than a Bengaluru courtroom. “The scheme of amalgamation sanctioned by the Karnataka HC was intentionally suppressed by the NGO earlier than the trial courtroom and the HC, because the scheme gave full particulars of objective, monetary construction, shareholding of the transferor and transferee firms, the accounting therapy and the phrases on which the amalgamation of firms occurred, which if delivered to the discover of the courts beneath, would have proven that not even a prima facie case was made out beneath the complaints,” they stated.
“After nearly three years, the NGO filed malafide legal complaints on December 7, 2017, alleging that the three firms (Vidya, Regal and Napean) that have been amalgamated with Hasham Funding didn’t belong to the Azim Premji group. The mischievous declare of the NGO was that the businesses belonged to ‘no one’ and subsequently belonged to the federal government and couldn’t have been merged with Hasham Funding, an Azim Premji group firm. By suppressing the amalgamation scheme whereas submitting the criticism, the NGO sought to interpret the aims of the scheme as being legal in nature. The complainant misled the courtroom to take cognisance,” the petitioners stated.
“The NGO is being utilized by R Subramanian as a company facade to file frivolous litigations towards Premji and his associates. Subramanian is a promoter of an organization named Subhiksha. He falsely induced Zash Funding and Buying and selling Firm, one other Azim Premji group firm, to make an funding of Rs 230 crore to amass 10% stake in his firm, Subhiksha. Hasham Funding had additionally been fraudulently induced to increase loans to Subhiksha and the latter had issued cheques as safety for a similar. Subramanian subsequently defaulted on reimbursement of the mortgage, and dishonoured cheques to the tune of Rs 31.32 crore, because of which Hasham Funding was constrained to file a case towards him beneath Part 138 of the Negotiable Devices Act, which remains to be pending and on the stage of recording of proof of witnesses,” the petitioners stated.

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