Murky internal politics at L&T amid tax raids

Vol 19, PW 5 (05 Nov 15) People & Policy

Nobody will confirm it but the market abounds with rumour that DK Gupta and one other former L&T employee have been targeted by an income tax raid instigated by their ex-bosses.

Gupta, formerly vice-president at L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering (LTHE), was the most senior of 11 people asked to resign by the company in September over corruption allegations. When contacted, Gupta refused to comment.

“I don’t want to speak to you,” he said, curtly. Two ex-L&T employees tell this report Gupta is the victim of murky company politics and senior management bent on revenge over old disputes.

Gupta, they add, reacted angrily when Subramaniam Sarma was parachuted in from Petrofac to become the new CEO of L&T Hydrocarbon in August, replacing K. Venkatraman.

Outraged that an outsider should get the job he wanted, Gupta handed in his resignation, says a source. “If Gupta had left to join a rival company he would have caused huge damage to L&T,” we hear.

“Management refused to accept his resignation and decided to ruin him and executives who supported him by accusing them of corruption.” Another source adds it is highly unlikely senior management at parent company L&T was unaware of the cosy deals between L&T executives and EPC sub-contractors.

“Sub-contracts were awarded like this for years," says a source. "Especially to hire boats and services.