Former CBI official to probe Siddhartha’s letter

Coffee Day Enterprises has chosen former CBI official Ashok Kumar Malhotra to conduct an investigation into the letter purportedly written by the company’s late founder V.G. Siddhartha.

Mr. Malhotra, a retired DIG, also has a mandate to scrutinise the books of accounts of the company and that of its subsidiaries. Agastya Legal LLP will assist him in the investigation into the contents of the two-page letter. Though the board of Coffee Day Enterprise had on August 8 appointed global audit firm EY to investigate the letter's contents and verify its veracity, the job has now been given to Mr. Malhotra, after EY decided to stay out of it citing certain conflict of interest.

“As EY is also our external auditor, adviser on taxation, software provider, and also does due diligence of the company and its subsidiaries, a conflict of interest was found in probing the letter,” said the company in a stock exchange filing.

The letter, allegedly written by the late founder on July 27, was addressed to the company’s board. Siddhartha went missing on July 29 and two days later his body was recovered from the Netravathi in Mangaluru.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 9:01:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/former-cbi-official-to-probe-siddharthas-letter/article29310659.ece

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