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Home >Mutual Funds >News >Franklin Templeton moves to vacate stay on e-voting, says Sebi is the nodal agency

Franklin Templeton moves to vacate stay on e-voting, says Sebi is the nodal agency

Franklin Templeton said the plea by Rasna promoters was not maintainable.  (Photo: Bloomberg)Premium
Franklin Templeton said the plea by Rasna promoters was not maintainable. (Photo: Bloomberg)

  • If the stay is not vacated, investors will be deprived of an expeditious return of their investments, the AMC said
  • This e-voting process was stayed till 12 June by the high court on a petition by Rasna promoters that the winding up decision was taken without the consent of the unitholders

MUMBAI : Franklin Templeton India on Friday filed a petition before Gujarat high court urging it to vacate the stay on the company’s e-voting process involving Franklin’s unitholders, which is required to monetize the underlying assets of the six shuttered debt schemes.

If the stay is not vacated “it will cause grave harm and prejudice to the more than 300,000 unitholders of the schemes, including small/retail investors in these schemes as the process of returning the money to these numerous investors will be delayed", Franklin said in its plea. Mint has reviewed a copy of the petition. The matter will be heard on Monday.

Investors will be deprived of an expeditious return of their investments, said asset management company (AMC).

On 28 May, Franklin had issued e-voting notices seeking unitholders’ authorization to monetize the underlying securities set aside. E-voting notices were issued to 300,000 investors who invested in the six debt schemes. The e-voting to authorize either the trustees of Franklin or Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP to monetize the assets was scheduled for 9-12 June.

This e-voting process was stayed till 12 June by the high court on a petition by Rasna promoters that the winding up decision was taken without the consent of the unitholders.

The AMC argued that the petition was not a writ and, therefore, was not maintainable, as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is the nodal agency and the market regulator to consider complaints of investors.

Sebi has ordered a forensic audit of the matter and once the the audit is completed it will decide upon the next course of action. “The original petitioners cannot ask this court to conduct a parallel enquiry in respect of the same set of allegations," Franklin submitted. The e-voting notices were issued after due consideration and in consultation with Sebi to maximize participation of unitholders in the voting exercise and to enable them to make informed decisions, it said. An email sent to the Franklin spokesperson remained unanswered.

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