Vijaypat Singhania Sacked as Raymond Chairman - Emeritus
The ugly feud involving Vijaypat Singhania and his son Gautam has plumbed new depths with the former being removed as chairman-emeritus of family-run Raymond Group.
The summary sacking followed a series of letters Singhania wrote, first to the company secretary and then to the Board, complaining he was not being kept in the loop about Board meetings.
In a September 7 letter to Singhania, a Raymond director asked him to desist from using the title of chairman-emeritus. Singhania wrote back saying he would defy the Board unless or until he was shown proof of the Board’s decision to sack him.
The September 7 letter signed by Thomas Fernandes, Raymond’s director secretarial, and company secretary said that the company had taken “strong dissent of the unparliamentary and derogatory language” used in Singhania’s letters. The letter added that the company was in no way concerned with what is happening between the family and that the decision to take away the title of chairman-emeritus was taken by the Board due to Singhania’s behaviour.
“Considering the aspersions cast against the Board, the company and the chairman and managing director, including repeated unparliamentary language, the board has decided to withdraw the title of chairman-emeritus post your vacation of office as a director,” the letter said.
Earlier, in a letter addressed to the Board on August 30, Singhania had blamed his son’s “manoeuvres ” for his removal from the company. It also alleged that Gautam Singhnia had refused to return various “precious and rare articles” of his like Padma Bhushan medal, paintings and pictures.
Singhania said he has known most of the directors personally for years together and that they are aware of his services rendered to the company for over two decades. “You were kind to honour me with the elevated title of chairman-emeritus, which is usually given for a lifetime by reputed companies,” he said.
Gautam Singhania, while talking to this newspaper on Tuesday, denied all the allegations and attributed the “missing things” complaint to his father to his old age. “My father does not remember where he has kept these things. I don’t have any of his belongings. What will I do by holding these things with me?” he asked.
On other allegations levelled by the octogenarian, Gautam said, “I am pained to see my father behaving this way. If he has a problem, I am ready to sit across with him and sort all his problems. But, so far as the company’s functioning is concerned, I have nothing to do with him not being the chairman-emeritus anymore. It was the decision of the Board and the Board must have its reason to do whatever they did. I have no role to pay in it.”
A company official said on condition of anonymity that as per section 167 of the Companies Act, a person ceases to be a director if they don’t attend four consecutive board meetings within one year. He added that the title of chairman-emeritus isn’t in the Act; it is just a title given by a company.