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L&T to ask external expert to investigate staff in Cognizant bribe

PW Bureau 

India’s biggest engineering group last month allegedly assisted in the payment of US$ 3.64 million in bribes to government executives to obtain various permits New Delhi: At the request of Cognizant Technology Solutions, Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) will call in an external expert to probe into possible illegal payments made by its employees. India’s biggest engineering group last month allegedly assisted in the payment of US$ 3.64 million in bribes to government executives to obtain various permits, from environmental clearance to power at the US-based tech giant’s campuses in Pune and Chennai, a report by Mint said. “During the audit committee meeting held on 27 February 2019, the management presented all details of the company’s construction contracts with CTS (Cognizant), including particulars of development relating to the recent settlement between CTS and SEC (the US Securities and Exchange Commission) and the ongoing proceedings before the department of justice, US,” Larsen and Toubro told BSE on Thursday. “In this connection, the company also briefed the audit committee of the management-initiated investigation conducted by leading law firms in US and India with the help of forensic experts from Hong Kong in 2017,” read the statement.

No proof of wrongdoing by employees

“While noting that there was no evidence of the involvement of the company or any of its executives as alleged based on information provided, the audit committee decided to seek assistance of an external expert to review the details of investigations conducted on behalf of the company in 2017, based on which it will decide the future course of action,” it said. Cognizant agreed to pay US$ 25 million in February to settle a 2016 case under the Foreign Corruption Prevention Act with US authorities.