Govt sacks all five independent directors of MRPL

The board has now lost its power to take large investment decisions
Last Updated 15 September 2014, 18:05 IST

The government has sacked all the five independent directors of Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), leaving the company board with no powers to take any large investment decision.

MRPL in a filing to the stock exchanges on Monday said: "Five non official part time directors namely, C L Shah, Neela Gangadharan, Prof Usha Kiran Rai, Prof Jayant M Modak and Capt John Prasad Menezes have ceased to be Directors on the Board of the Company."

With this, the board has lost its power to pass accounts, or take any large investment decisions.

All the five independent directors were appointed by the previous UPA regime.
This follows removal of all the UPA-appointee independent directors on board of Coal India Ltd (CIL) and sacking of four such appointees from IOC board. Besides, two UPA appointees on board of Engineers India Ltd too have been booted out.

Unlike Coal India, where the directors were told to quit and those who did not were voted out at company's shareholders meeting, in case of MRPL and IOC no resolution confirming appointments was moved.

Sources said the MRPL directors were appointed after the last shareholders meeting and their appointment was to be ratified at the company's annual general meeting (AGM) on September 13.

In absence of the company moving a resolution seeking confirmation of their appointments, the five ceased to be directors on the company board.

After their exit, MRPL board now has six functional and promoter directors. These are Chairman D K Sarraf, Managing Director H Kumar, Director (Finance) Vishnu Agrawal, Director (Refinery) V G Joshi, Oil Ministry nominee director P Kalyanasundaram and HPCL nominee director B K Namdeo.

MRPL is a subsidiary of state explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC). Though the government has no shareholding in MRPL, it holds 68.94 per cent of ONGC.

Sources said IOC too had not moved a resolution for confirmation of appointment of K Jairaj, Nesar Ahmad, Sunil Krishna and Sayan Chatterjee at its AGM on August 27.
In absence of shareholder approval, the four, who were appointed by the previous UPA government in March this year for a three-year term, ceased to be directors on IOC board.

The five directors removed from MRPL were appointed on October 22 last year for a three-year term.

Shah is a chartered accountant C L Shah while Gangadharan is a former bureaucrat. Modak is a professor at the Indian Institute of Science Professor while Rai is a Professor of Marketing at Banaras Hindu University Usha Kiran Rai.
There is also a move to seek removal of former Power Secretary P Uma Shankar, chartered accountant S Ravi and former BPCL Chairman R K Singh from the board of ONGC.

Similarly, chartered accountant Rohit Khanna is being sought to be removed from the board of Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) in a similar manner.

(Published 15 September 2014, 18:05 IST)

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