Chennai: Coffee Day Enterprises has decided to engage a retired DIG of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the circumstances under which its former Chairman late V G Siddhartha purportedly wrote a letter. Ernst and Young, which was assigned the job earlier, has found certain conflict in interest in taking up the task.
Ashok Kumar Malhotra, retired DIG of CBI will also scrutinize the books of accounts of the company and its subsidiaries.
Ashok Kumar Malhotra has handled several high profile cases ranging from investigations involving Bank, Securities related cases of Harshad Mehta and other matters. He has also been assisting the Supreme Court of India in several matters, the company said in a communiqué to the stock exchanges.
Malhotra will be assisted by Agastya Legal LLP, New Delhi, consisting of legal professionals led by their senior partner M R Venkatesh, practicing advocate in High court and Supreme Court of India who also possesses educational background of a Chartered Accountant. "The Board further understands that Ashok Malhotra shall appoint and take support of any other professionals/firms to expedite this assignment," the company said.
The purported letter written by Siddhartha before his death contained statements alleging harassment by the income tax department and pressure from private equity partners.
The board on August 8 had appointed Ernst and Young to carry out the investigation. Subsequently, it has been ascertained by the board in discussions with E&Y that the said firm has certain conflict of interest to carry out the above referred assignment, since they are rendering services in the area of taxation, software and have also carried out due diligence of the company/subsidiaries, on behalf of third party clients.