Sunil Mittal takes Rs.5-cr pay cut to provide legal aid to undertrials
Bharti Enterprises will launch a legal aid service to provide assistance to first-time undertrials languishing in jails for minor offences. And its chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal will contribute Rs 5 crore from his own salary to fund the initiative. His salary package is around Rs 27.17 crore.
Will the other CEOs follow suit? Let’s look at the salary packages of the 3 top CEOs:
Naveen Jindal – Jindal Steel and Powers has seen quite an exponential growth and development in the recent years under Naveen Jindal’s management. Currently, his remuneration package is Rs 36.96 crore per annum.
Debu Bhattacharya – Current MD of Hindalco Industries, Bhattacharya joined the company in the year 1999. Since then, the company has been doing extremely well under his mentorship with the acquirement of Novelis and becoming the second largest Aluminium Foil producing company in the world. His annual remuneration package is Rs 21.59 crore.
Desh Bandhu Gupta – the founder and chairman of Lupin Limited, a multinational pharmaceutical company, his salary is around Rs 37.5 crore. Gupta set up the Lupin Human Welfare & Research Foundation (LHWRF) in October 1988. LHWRF was set up with the objective of creating a replicable and evolving model for sustainable rural development with a simple goal of uplifting families living below the poverty line in rural India. LHWRF is one of the largest non-governmental organizations funded by a corporation in Southeast Asia.
Coming to Sunil MIttal’s CSR initiative, 'Nyaya Bharti', which will start with Rs 10 crore funding from Bharti, will help the undertrials at district court-level by paying bail and surety amounts.
"To start with, we will roll out Nyaya Bharti in the Delhi-NCR and Punjab and add more states such as Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Rajasthan. Bharti Airtel will contribute Rs 10 crore each year as part of CSR for this project," said Mittal.
The initiative, for which young lawyers will be roped in to pour into thousands of cases of languishing undertrials, bring them to a screening committee and provide them legal defence, including bail bonds, is aimed at being rolled out by April 1, 2016.
"It is estimated that there are over 280,000 undertrials in 1,387 jails in India, constituting nearly 68 per cent of the total prisoner population," he said, adding only first time offenders charged with minor offences will be taken up.
Mittal said the idea of launching the legal aid service, besides Bharti's education and sanitation initiative under CSR, came to him during his visits to Patiala court for his case.
"Most undertrials suffer in jails simply because of their ignorance of the law and their rights to liberty, their inability to pay the meagre amounts required for bails and bonds and lack of persons to stand surety," he said.
Under Nyaya Bharti, a screening committee of independent persons will be set up that will identify the cases that need to be taken up.
It will work under the aegis of Bharti Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises, and will have a separate Governing Board.
Former Chief Justice of India A S Anand will be the chairman of the Governing Board.