Coffee Day board engages CBI ex-DIG Ashok Malhotra to investigate accounts

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Updated: August 31, 2019 12:27 PM

Following the events, the board held an emergency meeting and decided to thoroughly investigate the matter.

Cafe Coffee Day, Cafe Coffee Day board, VG Siddhartha, CBI, Coffee Day Enterprises, AgastyaFollowing the events, the board held an emergency meeting and decided to thoroughly investigate the matter.

Ashok Kumar Malhotra, retired deputy inspector general of Central Bureau of Investigation, has been engaged by the board of Coffee Day Enterprises “to investigate the circumstances leading to statements made in the purported letter of the former Chairman, late VG Siddhartha, dated July 27, 2019, and to scrutinize the books of accounts of the company and its subsidiaries,” the company said in an exchange filing.

Malhotra has handled high profile investigations including the securities cases of Harshad Mehta. He will be assisted by Agastya Legal, the filing said. Last month, Siddhartha had gone missing, and his body was found after a 36-hour search in the Netravati river in Dakshina Kannada district.

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A letter, purportedly written by him before he went missing, stated: “I have given up as I could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners, forcing me to buy back shares. A transaction I had partially completed six months ago by borrowing a large sum of money from a friend. Tremendous pressure from other lenders lead to me succumbing to the situation.”

Following the events, the board held an emergency meeting and decided to thoroughly investigate the matter. Earlier this month, the board engaged Ernst &Young to investigate the books of accounts of Coffee Day Enterprises. The board later ascertained that the firm has “certain conflict of interest to carry out the above referred assignment, since they are rendering services in the area of taxation, software and have also carried out due diligence of the company/subsidiaries, on behalf of third party clients,” the exchange filing said.

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