Karnataka HC
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Franklin Templeton debt schemes petitions: Karnataka HC to fix schedule for hearing cases on August 7

Earlier, the Court had issued notice in petitions related to the Franklin Templeton matter from the High Courts of Delhi and Gujarat. Today, it issued notice in the batch of petitions from the Madras High Court.

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Karnataka High Court today issued notice in a batch of petitions from the Madras High Court related to the winding up of six Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund debt schemes.

Formal notice has been issued to the Central government, the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Franklin Templeton group of companies.

Earlier, while issuing notice in petitions related to the Franklin Templeton matter from the High Courts of Delhi and Gujarat, the Bench had noted that the matters filed before the Madras High Court had not yet been transferred to the Karnataka High Court in line with the Apex Court's direction.

Further, a Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi further directed the respondents to file their replies by July 22 and rejoinder, if any, by July 29.

The Bench also stated that the schedule for hearing of the cases would be fixed on the next date of hearing (August 7).

During the hearing, the Bench went on to reject an intervention application filed by two advocates seeking to assist the Court in the matter. It opined,

"If you are not a party before Single Judge, you cannot appear in the appeal..."

During the hearing, the Bench further pointed out that the High Court Registry was facing a serious issue, as the Registries of the concerned High Courts had not communicated the cell phone numbers and email IDs of all advocates appearing in the main matters as well as in interlocutory matters.

Therefore, the Court said,

"We therefore, direct Registrar Judicial to send email to Registrar General of all the concerned High Courts calling upon them the following details: the names of the advocates who have filed appearance through vakalath for various parties including interim applications, email IDs and cell numbers of the said advocates."

The Court also directed the Registry to send a reminder email to the Registries of the Madras, Delhi, and Gujarat High Courts to inform the advocates in the cases to file vakalat and submit their personal details to the Karnataka High Court Registry.

The matter will be next heard on August 7.

On June 19, the Supreme Court had directed the transfer of all petitions related to the winding up of six Franklin Templeton India debt schemes from the High Courts of Delhi, Madras and Gujarat to the Karnataka High Court within 15 days.

Franklin Templeton, India’s ninth-largest fund house, had in April notified its investors that it was winding up the Franklin India low duration fund, dynamic accrual fund, credit risk fund, short term income plan, ultra-short bond fund and income opportunities fund, cumulatively worth nearly Rs 28,000 crore.

Almost three lakh investors are set to be affected by Franklin Templeton’s decision to wind up its debt mutual fund schemes. The company had cited lack of liquidity in the bond market due to COVID-19 for its decision.

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