CLB unmanned as member is arrested

Tags: News
Company Law Board, the quasi-judicial body looking into corporate disputes, received a jolt on Tuesday after its senior-most member, R Vasudevan, was arrested by the CBI on charges of bribery. This has left the CLB with only one officiating member – Vimla Yadava based out of Chennai.

CBI has alleged that Vasudevan was caught “red-handed” accepting bribe from one of the parties involved in a dispute being heard by CLB. Vasudevan was apparently caught while ‘accepting cash in return for a favourable judgement’.

After former chairman of CLB, S Balasubramanian, who retired last month, Vasudevan had become the de-facto chairman of the board overseeing sensitive cases like Sesa Goa’a merger with Sesa Industries and Satyam scam.

Balasubramanian told Financial Chronicle that he was shocked and disturbed with this development. “I am shocked with this news,” Balasubramanian said.

Balasubramanian said the government has taken into account serious manpower shortage at CLB and key appointments would be made in the next one-month including a new chairman, justice Deshmukh from the Ranchi High Court. “Within 6 to 8 weeks the government is expected to appoint about 7 members and all the pending cases would be looked into,” he said.

Chairman of CII’s legal affairs committee, Lalit Bhasin, said that immediate steps need to be taken and the government will have to treat this with urgency. “It is a setback in the functioning of CLB and government really has to take quick steps to restore it,” he said.

The spokesperson of corporate affairs ministry said, “ The ministry is taking all steps to deal with the situation. A new chairman will soon be appointed,” he said. Efforts to reach minister Salman Khurshid did not materialise. A text message sent to him also went unanswered.

Along with Vasudevan, the CBI has arrested two more people – Manoj Banthia, the company secretary who offered him the bribe and Delhi-based advocate Ankur Chawla who was representing one of the parties.

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