A day after Gujarat High Court stayed the electronic voting process for winding up of the Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund’s six debt schemes, the firm on Friday said that it is examining the order.
The e-voting process was due to begin on June 9 and close on June 11 and the unit holders’ meeting through video conferencing was to be held on June 12.
The fund house had presented two options before the investors i.e. either monetisation of assets by trustees or hiring a third party to conduct the process. Other than this, investors would also have an option to vote ”no” for either of the two proposals but this will delay the monetisation of scheme assets.
“Currently, we are examining the matter and will take appropriate steps as may be required,” a Franklin Templeton MF spokesperson said on the stay order.
The petition in the High Court of Gujarat was filed by investors alleging that winding up of the debt schemes by the fund house was illegal.
“By way of ad-interim relief, the operation and implementation of the notice dated 28.05.2020 regarding E-voting and Unit-holder’s meeting send through Email by respondent no.3 herein shall remain stayed,” the high court had said in its order.
The next hearing is on June 12.
Earlier, the Madras High Court had issued notices to Franklin Templeton MF and market regulator Sebi after a petition was filed by an investors group, Chennai Financial Markets Accountability (CFMA), to safeguard nearly Rs 28,000-crore investors’ money stuck in six schemes shut down by the fund house.
The court took cognisance of the seriousness of the matter wherein the money of common public is at risk of getting wiped off and asked Sebi to file their reply, along with status report on the actions taken, according to the investors’ group.
The investors’ group had also said it is separately launching an online petition to bring together all affected investors and the same would be forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office as well as the US parent of the fund house and US markets regulator SEC.
The fund house in April closed six of its debt funds, citing redemption pressures and lack of liquidity in the bond markets.
These schemes, together having an estimate amount of over Rs 25,000 crore assets under management, were Franklin India Low Duration Fund, Franklin India Dynamic Accrual Fund, Franklin India Credit Risk Fund, Franklin India Short Term Income Plan, Franklin India Ultra Short Bond Fund and Franklin India Income Opportunities Fund.