Problems seem to be never ending for Dhanlaxmi Bank, with major shareholders, including NRI Ravi Pillai, engaging in conflict with the board of directors.
A shareholder and two others have approached the court against the board’s decision of rejecting their candidature for the office of director, to be placed before members during the annual general meeting scheduled for September 29.
KN Madhusoodan, a shareholder of the company, P Mohanan and Prakash D L have approached the court seeking a direction to the respondents – RBI and Dhanlaxmi bank – to discharge their statutory responsibilities under Section 160 of the Companies Act to inform the members about the candidature of the petitioners for the office of the director as mandated under Section 160(2) of the Companies Act.
The board of the bank arbitrarily rejected the applications of all five candidates, including prominent shareholder Ravi Pillai ( B Ravindran Pillai) and former independent director PK Vijayakumar, filed under Section 160 of the Companies Act, a highly-placed source told FE.
The petitioners had to move their candidature under Section 160 of the Companies Act after the board decided to defer their candidatures.
“The action of the board has no basis in law as the names of P Mohanan and Prakash were previously cleared by the Nomination and Remuneration Committee during its meeting held on July 23, 2021,” sources said.
“It is a truncated board and they want to keep it that way to have a controlling stake. There are only 8 directors, including 2 RBI nominees, and it helps them to take unilateral decisions against shareholders’ interests,”sources added.
Ravi Pillai holds a 10% stake in the lender and was on the board till May 2020. He had to exit on turning 70. Later, the RBI raised the age limit for non-executive directors, including the chair, to 75. CK Gopinathan and his two family members together hold close to 10% in the bank. NRI MA Yussuffali and Kapil Wadhawan own a 5% stake.