Fintech unicorn BharatPe has filed an arbitration for clawing back Ashneer Grover’s restricted shareholding and founder title. The arbitration was filed under Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) rules.
In case relief is granted, Grover may lose his unvested shares and right to use the founder title. Grover still holds about 8.5 per cent of the company. Of this, 1.4 per cent is not vested.
BharatPe in its lawsuit of 2,800 pages alleges that Grover, his wife Madhuri Jain and other family members created fake bills, enlisted fictitious vendors to provide services to the firm, and overcharged the company for recruitment. The company also said that Grover’s family paid for South Delhi duplex, vacations, skincare, appliances with company money.
The damages sought include a claim for payment made against the invoices of non-existent vendors amounting to Rs 71.7 crore; a claim for penalty paid to GST authorities amounting to Rs 1.66 crore; payments made to vendors purportedly providing recruitment services totalling Rs 7.6 crore; and Rs 5 crore damages for loss of reputation to the company caused by tweets and other statements made by Grover and his family members.
The civil suit and criminal complaint came up before the Delhi High Court, which issued notices to the Grover family and asked them to respond within two weeks.
The next hearing date has been set for January 9. It also issued summons to the other defendants, including Grover’s brother-in-law, his father, and his brother. If found guilty, they could face imprisonment for up to 10 years.
During the hearing, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for BharatPe, contended that Grover, his wife and other relatives were carrying out a “vicious and vitriolic” campaign against the company which has a large number of foreign investors.
The counsel for Grover and his wife said they were not served with a copy of the suit.