The tussle between some of the Infosys founders and the management comes at a time when the company is flush with a cash pile of more than $5 billion and there have been demands of its distribution among shareholders by way of share buyback.
Pai was answering a specific question on the management's claim of abiding by founders' maxim of 'disclose when in doubt' and assertions on abiding by corporate governance standards made during a marathon press conference last evening.
Pai claimed that the company disclosed the severance agreement it had reached with the then CFO Bansal in the annual report only after the media got a whiff of the matter.
"Nobody pays you 24 months of severance in India," he said and also questioned the current management's justification on a lack of chemistry between chief executive Vishal Sikka and Bansal.
Stressing on the importance of the post, Pai said the CFO is responsible for financial integrity and added that the audit committee of the board should have stepped in with posers on the high payout to "get rid" of a person who is "inconvenient" to the management.
Asked if it was the $200 million buy of Israeli company Panaya that led to the exit, he declined to comment.
Company Chairman R Seshasayee had on Monday defended all the controversial actions of the board. In the case of Bansal's severance pay, he had said the agreement was arrived at after going through circumstances that time and conceded that last year it had put in place a severance policy which does away with any subjectivity.
Pai, who left the company in 2011, said the controversy has been triggered because the promoter group led by N R Narayana Murthy feels that the board has "erred" in abiding by the high standards of corporate governance with which it had grown the company.
Stating that such work should be applauded, Pai asked institutional investors to come out and support the founders.
"I want all institutional shareholders to come together and rise to demand better performance from all the companies.
Institutional investors not talking about it is a disgrace to investors," he said.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.