The Supreme Court had earlier asked the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) appoint an observer to oversee the process.
“Sebi shall appoint an observer regarding the e-voting of unit holders which is scheduled between 26th December to 29th December, 2020… It is made clear that the trustees are undertaking the exercise of e-voting and Sebi in terms of our directions is appointing an observer,” said the Supreme Court order
dated 9th December.
The investor association in its letter suggested that former chief election commissioners including T.S. Krishna Murthy and S.Y. Quraishi could be roped in to ensure transparency for investors who had Rs 28,000 crore stuck in the schemes when Franklin announced their winding up. T. S. Krishna Murthy said that the terms of reference and logistical issues would have to be looked into before any firm commitment can be made as he lives in Chennai.
"I have no problem...provided all support is made available in Chennai (and) terms of reference are clear," he said.
S.Y. Quraishi didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The fund house announced the winding up of six schemes
on April 23rd. The Covid-19 pandemic had affected the liquidity of their investments. The six affected schemes were Franklin India
Low Duration Fund, Franklin India
Ultra Short Bond Fund, Franklin India
Short Term Income Plan, Franklin India Credit Risk Fund, Franklin India Dynamic Accrual Fund, and Franklin India Income Opportunities Fund. The lack of liquidity affected the fund house’s ability to sell their investments and return money to investors when they made redemption requests. It decided to stop all redemption and investments while it waited for things to normalise.
Investors subsequently moved court over the decision. The Supreme Court passed interim orders in December. It is set to hear the matter after voting in the third week of January.
“The result of the e-voting would not be announced and would be produced before us in a sealed cover along with the report of the observer appointed by the Sebi,” the Supreme Court order had said.