The professionals are asked to separate their personal lives with the work. The cricketers, movie stars, politicians, celebrities, and corporate leaders want their personal life to be distanced from media scrutiny. However, the personal life of these individuals impacts their professional life no matter how hard they try. The same thing happened to Ness Wadia, 47 years old heir to Wadia group. The group owns many reputed companies including Britannia Industries and Bombay Dyeing and in among the oldest and largest business houses of the country.
Ness Wadia had gone on a skiing trip to Japan, where he had been caught with 25 gm of cannabis resin, in early March. According to a brief report carried by a local Hokkaido station, customs officials at New Chitose airport were alerted to Mr. Wadia by sniffer dogs and a search revealed that he had about 25g of cannabis resin in his trouser pocket. Ness Wadia admitted to the cannabis possession and claimed that it was for his personal use. Japan has highly strict narcotics laws which have become more stringent ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The shares of Wadia group fell by double digit after heir to the family Ness Wadia was sentenced to two year jail term in Japan for possession of drugs. Four companies of Wadia group namely Bombay Dying, Britannia Industries, Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation, and National Peroxide Limited are registered at Bombay Stock Exchange. The share of bed linen maker Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing Co. Ltd. dipped by 17.6 percent which is highest since November 2016. Bombay Burmah Trading Corp. Ltd, a company which owns tea and cocoa plantations witnessed 6.4 percent drop in value while National Peroxide Ltd plummeted by 6.7 percent. The share of consumer goods manufacturer Britannia Industries witnessed lowest fall with 3.1 percent.
The jail sentence of Ness Wadia has been suspended and the group was quick to clarify that he will discharge all the duties regarding the companies. He is the director in all four stock exchange registered companies of the group. “Ness Wadia is in India. The judgment is clear. It is a suspended sentence,” said a spokesperson of the group.
Wadia is an heir to the 283-year-old Wadia Group and co-owner of the Kings XI Punjab cricket team. He is the eldest son of group chairman Nusli Wadia, one of India’s richest tycoons with a net worth of $7bn, according to Forbes. They have businesses ranging from biscuit giant Britannia Industries to budget airline GoAir, with the total market valuation of its listed entities standing at $13.1bn. This is not the first time Ness Wadia has been involved in a controversy, having been accused by Bollywood star Preity Zinta of molestation and intimidation after an altercation at a cricket match in 2014.
It is important to note herein that the incident occurred in early March and he was indicted on 20th March. However, not a soul in the media touched this story, and today Financial Times has broken it. After Financial Times, the other Media organizations are following it but the question to ponder upon is- why is this happening so late? It’s been almost 2 months since the incident took place and yet the media has been silent. Either it is the sheer incompetence of the Indian media or the journalistic ethics have been seriously compromised.