Investigators looking for clues to the motives behind the Chadha family shootout in Chattarpur might get some leads in Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) filings of the Wave group of companies. The filings show the stakes involved could be much more than just the Chattarpur farmhouse. Gurdeep Singh Chadha aka Ponty Chadha and his younger brother Hardeep Singh Chadha were killed in the shootout on Saturday.
In a filing on March 18, 2012, Wave Industries, a key Chadha group company that controls its sugar and distilleries businesses, said Hardeep had vacated the office of director under Section 283.
Section 283 of the Companies Act deals with ‘removal of a director’ under specific circumstances. The company also filed a copy of the board resolution explaining the circumstances of the removal. The copy of the resolution was signed by Ponty Chadha, managing director.
The resolution passed on February 28 said, “Resolved that Hardeep Singh Chadha, director of the company, having absented himself from meetings of the board of directors held during a continuous period of more than three months as well as more than three consecutive meetings of the board of directors… without obtaining leave of absence from the board, be and hereby is deemed to have vacated his office of director the company… wef 28 February, 2012.”
According to the resolution, the junior Chadha, some 11 years younger to the 52-year-old Ponty, did not attend three meetings held in November and December 2011. The resolution authorised Manpreet Singh Chadha, Ponty’s son and director, to file the necessary forms with the registrar, indicating Hardeep’s removal. The filing also showed the disparity in the lifestyles of the two camps. Hardeep lived in an upper middle class New Friends Colony house, whereas the elder brothers Ponty and Rajinder and Ponty's son Manpreet called farmhouses in the upmarket Oak Drive in DLF Chattarpur their respective homes. Six months later, Ponty relinquished his position of managing director of Wave Industries. On the same day, August 29, Rajinder and Manpreet also ceased to be directors.
Ponty’s resignation letter to the company does not give away much. He simply says he “is unable to continue as managing director due to personal reasons. So, you are requested to please accept my resignation wef August 29, 2012.”
Wave Industries, originally incorporated as Chadha Sugars in 1997, is a key group company and has an integrated sugar-cum-power plant in UP. In place of these three family members, two UP-based directors were appointed to the board the same day. They were Davinder Singh Bindra of Lucknow and Kailash Nath Singh of Rampur.
While the latter’s name corresponds to that of a prominent politician in UP, Business Standard could not independently verify if he was the person listed as a director in Wave’s books. Not much is known about Bindra, designated as a whole-time director.
It is not clear what prompted Ponty and his kin to step down from the board of this key company, leaving it to outsiders. “If there were any liabilities, just by resigning from the board, they could not escape those. They would have known that. One possibility is Ponty was relinquishing responsibilities to make way for professionals or the next generation to take over,” said a company affairs expert.