Home / Opinion / Quick Edit /  Opinion | Infosys assures stakeholders

Infosys shares surged on Monday after the software exporter said it had yet to receive any evidence that could prima facie substantiate whistleblower allegations against the company’s top management. Some anonymous employees had alleged that Infosys CEO Salil Parekh and its finance head Nilanjan Roy had indulged in “unethical accounting practices" in order underplay costs and portray higher profits. While the matter is still being investigated by the company’s internal audit committee and a conclusive report is awaited, Monday’s statement should reassure stakeholders worried about glaring misdeeds and a clear-cut scandal. Crucially, there seems no sign of any corroborative recordings and emails that the whistleblowers had promised to submit.

Why they still haven’t, if “proof" actually exists, is a good question. It makes observers wonder if the allegations will eventually turn out to be just that, and no more. If the whistle turns out to be falsely blown, it would suggest mala fide intent on the part of people within. Could disgruntled employees have been put up to it by rivals? Was there another ulterior motive? Might it reflect a higher-level tussle of some sort? An answer to any of these questions at this stage would be purely in the realm of speculation.

Any company sworn to transparency would know that juggling numbers to deceive investors is not just illegal, it’s hard to keep hidden for very long. Since the credibility damage would far outweigh any potential upside to such tactics, it’s seems like common sense to refrain from such tricks. But anonymous charges have indeed been levelled and the case is far from settled yet. Apart from the audit committee, the Indian stock market regulator is doing a probe too; and since the stock is listed in the US, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has also initiated an investigation of the whistleblower claims.

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