23 November, 2020

ITC's Moment Of Reckoning

The Government's brutal crackdown leaves corporate India shell-shocked

ITC's Moment Of Reckoning

THE first people to get down from the Black Maria that stopped in front of Calcutta’s Bankshall Court at 2:20 on November 1, were two pickpockets picked up the night before: business as usual. Then came business as unusual as India has ever known:Kishan Lal Chugh, former ITC chairman, the man who fought "neo white imperialist" BAT, and the avuncular Jagdish Narain Sapru, Chugh’s predecessor at the tobacco giant’s helm. Within minutes, their bail pleas were being heard by Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Asit Dasgupta. Within minutes, their pleas had been rejected; the court remanded the two men in custody under Sections 8, 9, 18 and 48 of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) relating to transfer, acquisition and borrowing of foreign exchange without approval and permission from the Reserve Bank of India. Chugh, Sapru and India’s largest professionally-managed (that is, not family- or government-run) company had been pitchforked back into their continuing nightmare.

How the mighty have fallen. After...



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