SEBI names Krishnamurthy as ‘observer’ for Franklin e-voting

PALAK SHAH Mumbai | Updated on December 26, 2020

Announcement after the start of voting process stirs up controversy

Market regulator SEBI on Saturday announced the appointment of TS Krishnamurthy as the observer for ‘e-voting’ on winding-up of six debt schemes of Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund (FTMF). SEBI’s announcement came several hours after the e-voting had commenced on Saturday morning. On December 9, the Supreme Court had directed SEBI to appoint an observer.

Krishnamurthy, age 76, is the former chief election commissioner of India and the ex-chairman of share depository company CDSL where he worked till 2019.

SEBI said it had appointed the observer on December 18. But the announcement was made on Saturday after the Chennai Financial Markets and Accountability (CFMA), an investor lobby group, approached the Supreme Court seeking clarity over the observer.

3 lakh investors to vote

More than three lakh investors will vote to ‘reject or approve’ the proposal by FTMF to wind-up the debt schemes that held more than ₹28,000 crore worth of investor money. A few months ago, FTMF had discontinued redemptions on the reasoning of huge losses due to Covid-19 situation.

The voting is being allowed till December 28. An observer’s job is to do the necessary ‘checks and balances’ before the voting begins to ensure that the process is conducted in a fair manner. SEBI’s announcement mentions the observers’ contact details for any of the voters to get in touch with him.

Published on December 26, 2020

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