New Delhi: Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) will ask an external expert to investigate if any illegal payments were made by any of its employees at the behest of US-based Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp.
Mumbai-based L&T’s decision comes 10 days after Mint reported that India’s largest engineering and construction company facilitated the payment of $3.64 million ( ₹25.7 crore today) in bribes to Indian government officials on behalf of Cognizant to secure permits, ranging from environmental clearance to power, at the US company’s campuses in Chennai and Pune between 2013 and 2015.
L&T has till now maintained that it did not have any proof of wrongdoing by any of its employees.
“During the audit committee meeting held on 27 February 2019, the management presented all details of the company’s construction contracts with CTS (Cognizant), including particulars of development relating to the recent settlement between CTS and SEC (the US Securities and Exchange Commission) and the ongoing proceedings before the department of justice, US," Larsen and Toubro told BSE on Thursday.
“In this connection, the company also briefed the audit committee of the management-initiated investigation conducted by leading law firms in US and India with the help of forensic experts from Hong Kong in 2017," read the statement.
“While noting that there was no evidence of the involvement of the company or any of its executives as alleged based on information provided, the audit committee decided to seek assistance of an external expert to review the details of investigations conducted on behalf of the company in 2017, based on which it will decide the future course of action," it said.
Last month, Cognizant agreed to pay $25 million to settle a 2016 case under the Foreign Corruption Prevention Act with US authorities. For now, the US SEC has not named L&T in the complaint that was made public last month.