The Tata Group today said it has set up a four-member committee to ascertain the facts behind the suicide of Charudatta Deshpande,former head of communications Tata Steel. The committee will be headed by Ishaat Hussain non-executive director of Tata Steel. The panel has been mandated to convey its findings directly to the board of Tata Steel within two months,a joint statement by Tata Sons and Tata Steel said this evening.
“A committee chaired by Ishaat Hussain,non-executive director of Tata Steel,and including Mukund Rajan,group’s chief ethics officer,N S Rajan,group’s chief human resources officer,and Bharat Vasani,group general counsel,has been constituted to ascertain the facts (regarding Deshpande’s suicide),” it said. The 58-year-old Deshpande had committed suicide last Friday in Mumbai. Mukund Rajan in a statement yesterday had stated that the allegations relating to the demise of Deshpande had been taken most seriously by the group and an appropriate process would be established to ascertain the facts,the statement said further.
The development comes amidst deceased’s former colleagues in the corporate world as well as in the media writing to emeritus chairman Ratan Tata and chairman Cyrus P Mistry and Tata Sons director R K Krishna Kumar alleging that Deshpande committed suicide following “untold pressure and threats at Jamshedpur” when he was with Tata Steel. Those who wrote to the Tata brass included K Ramkumar,executive director for HR at ICICI Bank,who wrote in his personal capacity.