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MUMBAI : Viresh Joshi, Axis mutual fund’s former dealer and fund manager, has sued the fund house on the charge of wrongful termination. Joshi was sacked by the fund house on 18 May for alleged violation of its ethics and code of conduct, Mint had reported on 16 June.

The law suit by Joshi seeks payment of 54 crore in damages from Axis to him for alleged wrongful termination and lack of due process in law. The damages are over and above the 26.5 lakh he is seeking as compensation from the fund house. Excerpts of the law suit have been reviewed by Mint.

“The Company is not aware of any suit by Mr. Joshi filed against it, as it has not yet been served - and will take appropriate action once it has relevant details. In any event, the allegations of Mr. Joshi are baseless and without any merit, and the action taken by the Company in relation to the termination of his employment for wrongdoing (including where company has reason to believe violations of securities law) is valid and legally sustainable, and there is no question of any compensation or damages payable to him," said a spokesperson for Axis MF in an emailed response

In the petition, Joshi claimed that the termination notice is null and void and has no legal and binding effect and is a breach of contractual obligations.

The former fund manager is seeking that Axis should not act on his termination notice.

Joshi was sacked on multiple grounds, including unwillingness to cooperate during the company’s investigation and explain the source of his income and assets, making allegedly incorrect claims of coercion, and not explaining a whistleblower’s email accusing him of front-running. The letter also conveyed Axis Mutual Fund’s belief that Joshi violated securities law.

However, the fund manager has claimed that no show cause was issued to him and no opportunity for a hearing was granted to him.

“Unless a due cause is shown that is substantiated by findings of an internal investigation it tantamounts to wrongful termination," said the court filings.

The court filings also alleged that Axis has intentionally gone out of its way to spoil Viresh Joshi’s reputation and render him unemployable.

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