The Supreme Court Friday directed transfer of all petitions related to Franklin Templeton India shutting down six of its debt schemes from various high courts in the country to the Karnataka High Court within two weeks.
The apex court in an oral order also directed the Karnataka High court to hear these cases within three months. It said that until the matter is decided by the Karnataka High Court, the interim stay on the e-voting process for winding up the schemes will continue.
“The SC ordered that all the petitions pertaining to Franklin Templeton pending in various high courts may be transferred and heard by Karnataka High Court and the apex court also refused to stay the Gujarat high court order that stayed the e-voting process of winding up the debt schemes,” said Paritosh R Gupta of Gupta Law Associates, counsel for one of the petitioners.
Earlier this month, the Gujarat High Court had put on hold Franklin Templeton MF’s e-voting process for winding up of the six mutual fund schemes. Franklin Templeton had filed a petition in Supreme Court challenging the stay granted by Gujarat high court on the e-voting process.
Apart from this, the Delhi and Madras High Courts have sought response from Franklin and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on petitions against winding up of the schemes. Franklin is yet to file a reply in any of these cases in the high courts.
Franklin Templeton, India’s ninth-largest fund house, had in April notified its investors that it was winding up Franklin India low duration fund, dynamic accrual fund, credit risk fund, short term income plan, ultra-short bond fund and income opportunities fund worth nearly Rs 28,000 crore from April 24.
The fund management group had later sent a link for e-voting, which investors allege did not have the option for them to reject the authorisation for winding up. The group had earlier in May said that voting for ‘negative’ on authorisation to wind up the scheme would not mean that the schemes would recommence the redemption and subscription process.
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