Credit rating agency ICRA Ltd put its managing director and chief executive officer, Naresh Takkar, on compulsory leave over pending inquiry on anonymous allegations against him.
In a regulatory filing on Monday, ICRA said, "Pending the completion of the examination of the concerns raised in the anonymous representation that was forwarded to the company by Sebi, the board decided to place Naresh Takkar on leave, effective immediately."
Without elaborating on the reasons for Takkar's temporary suspension, the rating agency informed that chief financial officer Vipul Agarwal will act as the interim CEO.
A Livemint report citing sources said that the anonymous complaint was with regard to the ratings of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) and alleged that ICRA's top executives had meddled in assigning high ratings to IL&FS and its subsidiaries. In May, the rating agency had informed the exchanges that based on SEBI's reference, it was in the process of addressing the concerns raised in the complaint.
"The company is in the process of addressing certain matters (i) related to credit rating assigned to one of its customers and its subsidiaries, regarding which adjudication proceedings have been initiated by Sebi and (ii) related to an anonymous representation that was forwarded to the company by Sebi," it said on 9 May.
In September 2018, IL&FS defaulted on repayments while it held the high rating of 'AAA'. The default triggered a liquidity crisis in non-banking financial services sector.
Shares of ICRA Ltd plunged by over 5 percent in trade on Tuesday following the announcement.