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Narayana Murthy disappointed after Nandan Nilekani says no wrongdoing in Infosys’ Panaya deal

The former chairperson said many of his questions related to corporate governance in the firm still remain unanswered.

Infosys Co-founder and former Chairperson NR Narayana Murthy on Tuesday said he was disappointed by the answers given by the company’s board to the questions related to corporate governance, NDTV reported.

Murthy’s response came after Infosys cut its growth forecast for 2017-’18 to 5.5%-6.5%. It had earlier predicted a revenue growth of 6.5%-8.5% during the year. The company on Tuesday reported 7% quarter-on-quarter growth in its net profit in July-September period.

Nandan Nilekani, the non-executive chairperson of the information technology giant, on Tuesday declared that the company had found no evidence of wrongdoing in the $200-million acquisition of Israeli automation technology firm Panaya Limited in 2015, reported Mint. Nilekani, however, did not speak about the salary revision for senior executives that Murthy had questioned.

“Let me say that the investigations were regarding the (Panaya) matter and we’ve said that there is no merit in the allegations of wrongdoing,” Nilekani was quoted as saying. “That’s what we’ve said... I think if you look at the actions of the last 60 days, you would’ve seen that what needed to be done has been done.”

Murthy said he was disappointed that the Inofsys board had not answered his questions with the “transparency it deserves”. In a statement, he added, “I stand by every question on poor governance raised in my speech to Infosys investors dated August 29, 2017. The core question still is how and why the Infosys board approved an unusual and unprecedented severance payment agreement of 1000% [of the standard Infosys employment contracts] to the former CFO, and why the board did not disclose this information proactively and much earlier.” He added that “sadly”, it appeared that people would not “know the truth.”

In the last one-and-a-half years, Murthy has questioned the Infosys board members over poor corporate governance, pay revision for senior executives and the Panaya deal. After former Chief Executive Officer Vishal Sikka quit the company on August 18, the Infosys board had claimed that the “continuous assaults” by Murthy had forced Sikka to leave.

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