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Bribe charge on industrialist

Chennai, Aug. 27: Veteran industrialist M.A.M. Ramaswamy has been named the second accused by the CBI in a bribery case, for attempting to bribe the registrar of companies to nullify a resolution unseating him as director of Chettinad Cement.

Ramaswamy, 82, got admitted to a private hospital last night after the registrar was arrested for allegedly taking a Rs 10 lakh bribe from him. The CBI had deferred the industrialist’s interrogation in view of his age and health.

At the annual general meeting today, shareholders of Chettinad Cement rejected a resolution re-appointing Ramaswamy, who was also the board chairman, as director.

The registrar is alleged to have demanded the bribe to not approve this decision that the AGM had been expected to take.

The vacancy arising out of his retirement will not be filled, said L. Muthukrishnan, who chaired the 51st AGM in the absence of Ramaswamy.

Managing director M.A.M.R. Muthiah, the adopted son of Ramaswamy who has wrested control of his business empire, said he would request the board members to appoint Ramaswamy as chairman emeritus. The lifetime appointment of no consequence would reduce Ramaswamy to a non-entity in the company he founded 60 years ago.