Irked by the frivolous nature of a case against Wipro founder-chairman Azim Premji and others, the Karnataka High Court has imposed a Rs10 lakh cost on India Awake For Transparency, a Chennai-based organisation, who filed multiple petitions. The amount has to be paid to the registrar-general of the court in four weeks.
The court noted apart from filing a slew of PILs in Delhi and Karnataka HCs seeking a probe into alleged diversion of money from 3 companies to a private trust controlled by the Premji couple, Awake for Transparency had filed another bunch of petitions seeking intervention of SEBI, ED and RBI.
“The petitioner is indulging in forum shopping on the same cause of action. As held by the SC, this amounts to criminal contempt as the core issue in all these petitions is the same,” Justice PS Dinesh Kumar stated in a recent judgment, the media reported. Despite being forewarned, the petitioner chose to argue, contending it to be a standalone plea, wasting valuable time of the court, the judge said.
The forum had also sought directions to the ministry of corporate affairs to act against Premji and others.
The major allegation was a large chunk of assets, belonging to Vidya Investment and Trading Company Pvt. Ltd, Regal Investment and Trading Company Pvt Ltd and Napean Trading and Investment Company Pvt. Ltd. were illegally diverted through gifts/transfers to a private trust controlled by the Premji couple after the 3 firms were wound up.
The organisation’s PILs, seeking directions to form a multi-disciplinary team to probe the same allegations, was already disposed of by the Delhi court on May 29, 2017, Premji counsels said.