Dilip Pendse, the former managing director of Tata Finance, allegedly committed suicide at his Dadar East office in Mumbai on Wednesday. The police said he left behind a note stating that no one was to be held responsible for his death. The body of Pendse (61) was found hanging from the ceiling fan in his office on the ground floor of Royal Grace Apartments in Dadar, police said. The main control room of the Mumbai Police had received a phone call about Pendse’s death at 2.30 pm, said the police.
Mumbai Police spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) Rashmi Karandikar, said Pendse was suspected to have committed suicide between 9.30 am and 2.30 pm Wednesday. His body was sent to Sion Hospital for post-mortem, she said. “The deceased left behind a note in which he said no one should be held responsible for his death,” said B M Kakad, senior inspector, Matunga police station. The police have registered a case of accidental death. Kakad ruled out any foul play.
Pendse is survived by his wife — with whom he lived in his first-floor home in the same building — and two sons who work abroad. Pendse was a rising star in the Tata group and a blue-eyed boy of the then Tata group Chairman Ratan Tata two decades ago. After his unauthorised dealings, which led to substantial losses for Tata Finance, came to light in 2001, the Tatas sacked him and filed a police complaint against six top executives, including Pendse. He had been incarcerated for a while.
Pendse, then considered a financial whizkid, was credited with expanding the operations of Tata Finance to create India’s largest and most integrated finance company. The Tatas had then admitted they were staring at a huge loss — estimated to be close to Rs 500 crore — on account of the investments by Tata Finance subsidiary, Nishkalp Investment & Trading Co. With Tata Finance suffering severe losses, the Tata group later restructured the company. Market regulator SEBI investigated two cases and took action against Pendse. In 2016, SEBI had barred Pendse and three other entities from the capital market for three years for manipulation.
In 2014, SEBI had banned Pendse from the capital markets for two years for his role in carrying out illegal trades in HFCL, Tata Motors (then Telco), Infosys and SSI (then Software Solutions) in the “carry forward” segment of the BSE and the NSE in 2001. In 2003, Pendse was arrested by the Delhi Police for his alleged involvement in misappropriation of Rs 2 crore in a group company.