Infy to iGate: Phaneesh has tainted past, denies charge

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Bangalore, May 21: Phaneesh Murthy, who has been sacked once again over sexual harassment allegations, overruled all charges hurled against him. The former president of iGate claimed it was not a sexual harassment case but a case of "extortion".

[Read: iGate shares take a plunge in early trade]

Clarifying his stand on the controversy, Murthy on Tuesday, May 21 said, "I am not certain if the employee will file harassment charges in court. I will fight all harassment charges vigorously in court. I have not received the letter, only company has received the complaint."

The software company had issued an official statement before executing their plan to sack Murthy following the report of an investigation team appointed by the board members of the company.

Phaneesh Murthy

The official statement said, "The board's decision was made as a result of an investigation by outside legal counsel, engaged by the board, of the facts and circumstances surrounding a relationship Mr Murthy had with a subordinate employee and a claim of sexual harassment."

The company policy says, "If two people in a company have a relationship, the authorities must be informed."

Clarifying their stand on the controversy, board members said, "The investigation, which is ongoing, has reached the finding that Murthy's failure to report this relationship violated iGate's policy, as well as Murthy's employment contract."

However, the official statement also added, "The investigation has not uncovered any violation of iGate's harassment policy."

The company official statement also stated, "We recognize the significant contributions Murthy has provided over the past ten years in helping to establish iGATE as a leader in the IT industry... However, as a result of this violation of iGATE policy, we asked Murthy to step down."

This was the second time when 49-year-old Murthy was asked to leave IT company following some sexual harassment allegations. Earlier he was asked to leave IT major Infosys.

However, the case was settled out of court in 2002. After leaving Infosys, Murthy launched his own company called Quintant which later was bought by iGate in Aug 2003. iGate now has appointed Gerhard Watzinger as interim chief executive with immediate effect.

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