Credit rating agency ICRA has asked its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Naresh Takkar to go on indefinite leave on Monday, pending an enquiry into allegations against the executive. Without going into the specifics, the rating agency said in a regulatory filing, "Pending the completion of the examination of the concerns raised in the anonymous representation that was forwarded to the company by Sebi, the board decided to place Naresh Takkar on leave, effective immediately."
ICRA's Chief Financial Officer Vipul Agarwal has been appointed as the interim Chief Operating Officer.
According to multiple reports, the step was taken after an anonymous complaint alleged that there were lapses when ICRA assigned a high rating of AAA to IL&FS last year. As mentioned in a report in Livemint, the complainant had alleged that ICRA's top executives meddled in assigning high ratings to IL&FS and its subsidiaries.
SEBI is already looking into the case and has launched adjudication proceedings against three rating agencies ICRA, Care Ratings and India Ratings in the ratings assigned to IL&FS and its firms. SEBI is probing if the agencies acted in an appropriate manner in issuing ratings to IL&FS group firms.
In May, the rating agency said that the board had appointed experts to look into the anonymous complaint. "Based on the work done till date, the company has made provision on a prudent basis with regards to the adjudication proceedings, while, apropos the representation, no findings have yet been identified. The company will consider the implications, if any, in due course, upon completion of these matters," ICRA had said.