HC relief to Azim Premji, wife
In a relief to Azim H. Premji, former Chairman and Managing Director of Wipro, and his wife, the Karnataka High Court has set aside an order passed by a city civil and sessions court for restoration of a private complaint for allegedly not disclosing information of a company of which they were directors in violation of Companies Act, 2013.
Also, the court upheld dismissal of another private complaint against them for allegedly violating a provision of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, in relation to operation of non-banking finance companies sans registration.
Justice Suraj Govaindaraj passed the order while allowing petitions filed by Mr. Premji and others questioning the July 3, 2020, order of a city civil and sessions court, which had directed the Special Court for Economic Offences to restore the private complaint filed against them by India Awake for Transparency, a Chennai-based NGO.
The allegations relate to their role as directors of M/s Vidya Investment & Trading Company Limited.
While setting aside the civil court’s order, the High Court held that the Special Court had rightly dismissed the complaint while holding that the complaint against the directors of a company can be lodged only by persons or authorities permitted under Section 439 of the Companies Act, and complaint does not fall in those categories.
Meanwhile, Justice Govindaraj dismissed another petition, filed by India Awake for Transparency challenging dismissal of its complaint by a metropolitan magistrate’s court.
The High Court held that the magistrate’s court was right in rejecting the complaint, seeking direction to the RBI to register criminal case against them, as the Delhi High Court had already issued such a direction to the RBI, which had acted on the complaint. The complaint was related to the role of Premjis and others in Prazim Investment and Trading Co., Tarish Investment and Trading Co., and Hasham Investment and Trading Co.