Whistle blowing is one of the key tools used in corporate governance to act as a check on managerial actions. It is also recognised in India as a non-mandatory requirement under Clause 49 of the listing agreement. While whistle blowing is useful in enhancing governance standards, the recent episode at Renault suggests that it is also capable of abuse. Lessons from that episode include the need for more robust investigations into allegations made and for restraint to be exercised by the company before the matter is publicly announced.
Umakanth Varottil is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. He specializes in corporate law and governance, mergers and acquisitions and cross-border investments. Prior to his foray into academia, Umakanth was a partner at a pre-eminent law firm in India.