Karnataka High Court defers judgement on Franklin Templeton case

The verdict could determine how swiftly the money stuck in the six shut schemes would be repaid to the unitholders.
The Karnataka High Court deferred its judgement in the Franklin Templeton Asset Management (India) case on Monday, with the court passing an order to take on record duly notarised copies of affidavits filed by the asset manager (e-filed originally) as per the standard operating procedure of the court, said a person familiar with the matter.

The case against the asset manager was filed by some unitholders of the six debt schemes that were shut in April. According to reports, the court may have examined whether Franklin followed the right processes to shut down the scheme. The findings of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi)’s forensic report on the six debt schemes may also have been taken into consideration.

The verdict could determine how swiftly the money stuck in the six shut schemes would be repaid to the unitholders.

The asset manager said last week that its six shut schemes had received Rs 8,262 crore from maturities, pre-payments and coupon payments after closing down in April.

In April, Franklin Templeton decided to wind up six of its debt schemes oriented towards high-yield investments with total assets under management of over Rs 25,000 crore. It cited continued redemption pressure and lack of liquidity in the debt market, amid the Coronavirus-induced lockdown, for the closure.  

A few days ago, the EOW of the Chennai Police registered a first information report (FIR) against the asset manager and Franklin Templeton Trustee Services for an alleged criminal conspiracy to defraud 300,000 investors by causing wrongful loss to them and unlawful gain to themselves.

“Please do not believe unsubstantiated rumours and baseless accusations… Since the business has been carried out in compliance with the applicable laws and all decisions were taken in the best interest of our unit holders, we are confident about the outcome of any true and fair investigation conducted in this regard,” Templeton said in a note to investors last week. Karnataka HC defers judgement in Franklin Templeton case


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