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May, 14 2014

Tussle at Sagar Ratna

Older staff threatens to take new to the court.

Sagar Ratna, the popular South Indian restaurant chain, is seeing a tussle between the founder of Sagar Ratna, Jayaram Banan and Indian Equity Partners (IEP), the private equity firm which is currently managing the company.

The older employees are set to move court against the new management alleging siphoning of their pension and gratuity money allegedly by forging documents. However, the current management fully denies the charges.

According to a document sent by a high court advocate on 2nd May on behalf of 11 older employees which is addressed to Murali Krishna Parna, Chief Executive Officer, Sagar Ratna Restaurants (P) Ltd, has sought registration of complaints lodged at various police stations in Delhi against Parna and various others in the company and IEP. However, the new management under IEP has denied all allegations and said that Sagar Ratna Restaurants Pvt Ltd and its management have fully complied with all rules on labour-related matters, including those on PF and gratuity.

According to an official spokesperson with the chain, some erstwhile employees and their lawyers have either misunderstood the issues or are acting with ill intent. “The restaurant business was transferred from the erstwhile company - Sagar Ratna Hotels Pvt Ltd to Sagar Ratna Restaurants Pvt Ltd (with IEP owning the majority) and as a part of a legal agreement, Sagar Ratna Hotels Pvt Ltd and its promoter, J R Banan, were liable to clear all dues (including gratuity and PF) of the employees that were being transferred to Sagar Ratna Restaurants Pvt Ltd as a part of the deal.”

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