United Spirits (USL) on Wednesday informed the NSE that it cannot make public the internal inquiry report submitted by its MD and CEO to the board of directors as it contained sensitive commercial and operational information. The exchange had sought from USL a detailed report for the purposes of public dissemination and filing with the central government, as per the Companies Act.
The USL board had ordered an internal inquiry in September into certain transactions between 2010 and 2013. The report suggested that the manner in which certain transactions were conducted indicated prima facie various improprieties and legal violations.
The company has clarified to the exchange that the report contains transactions and dealings involving various parties, and is confidential. “A public disclosure of the internal report would provide the company’s competitors and other third parties with vested interests an access to such sensitive commercial and operational information of the company, and thereby provide an opportunity for such parties to use such information in a manner that is prejudicial to the interests of the company and its shareholders,” the statement issued by the company said.
USL also fears that a public disclosure of the internal report would potentially prejudice, and interfere with, the investigations by the relevant authorities and could also lead to misuse of the evidence contained in the report. It adds that such a consequence would be detrimental to the interests of not only the company and its shareholders, but also of the public at large.
The company also states that it has provided a copy of the report to its statutory auditors for their review and further steps as may be required.