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Infosys settles harass suit

Mumbai, Dec. 14: Infosys today said it had settled a US lawsuit filed by a former employee who claimed he was harassed for blowing the whistle on an alleged visa fraud by the company.

Satya Dev Tripuraneni, who worked in the company’s California office, had alleged that Infosys was engaged in fraudulent practices, including use of B-1 visas for purposes not permitted under rules. He claimed he was threatened and demoted when he raised the issue.

Tripuraneni had filed the lawsuit in a federal court in California on August 2 this year.

“The Dev Tripuraneni lawsuit filed against the company has been withdrawn following successful mediation of the dispute,” the Bangalore-based IT company said in a statement today.

India’s second-largest software services exporter added that while it had reached an amicable settlement, without any admission of liability, the deal enabled it to avoid the costs and distraction associated with protracted litigation. It did not disclose details.

This is the second such legal respite for Infosys since August 20 when an Alabama court dismissed harassment charges brought by one of its American employees, Jack Palmer.

Palmer had alleged in his suit, filed last February, that the company misused B-1 visas to bring employees to the US. Such visas are issued for short-term business visits such as participating in workshops or meetings. Companies can bring foreign employees only on H1B1 visas.

Palmer alleged that while the US state department had limited the number of H1B1 visas, Infosys was bringing Indian employees for onsite work using the B1 visa. He said the company victimised him after he made the allegations.

But the judge who heard the case found no basis to support the charges by Palmer under Alabama law and dismissed the case.

Investors appeared to have taken the latest controversy in their stride. The Infosys share ended today at Rs 2277.25, down Rs 5.75 or 0.25 per cent, on the Bombay Stock Exchange.