L&T denies graft allegations

 Indian multinational major Larsen and Tourbo has denied any kind of involvement in the graft scandal that has hit technology major Cognizant.

Cognizant, a longtime customer of L&T, had reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in which it has acknowledged violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in connection with certain construction projects in India, the company informed BSE.

“This settlement appears to arise from an internal investigation by Cognizant that it first announced on September 30, 2016. While we cannot comment on Cognizant’s decision to enter into these settlements, we are not aware of any evidence that supports our involvement in making the alleged improper payments. We confirm that neither we nor any of our employees are a party to the proceedings brought in the United States,” the company said in the filing.

Earlier on Monday, a news report by Mint alleged that L&T had facilitated the payment of $3.64 million in bribes to Indian government officials on behalf of Cognizant to secure permits, ranging from environmental clearance to power, at the US company’s campuses in Chennai and Pune.

Although the SEC did not name L&T in the complaint that filed against two former senior Cognizant employees –Gordon J Coburn and Steven E Schwartz, the news report, quoting sources said that the construction arm of India’s largest engineering company made illicit payments and Cognizant reimbursed the money by disguising it as compensation for cost overruns.

The graft complaint has been filed in the US District Court of New Jersey.

Larsen & Toubro also issued a clarification to the Bombay Stock Exchange clarifying its position in the bribery case. In this filing, the company denied its involvement. The document is below:

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L&T denies graft allegations

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