BharatPe  slaps case against ex-MD‘s wife


NEW DELHI : BharatPe has filed a case against its former managing director Ashneer Grover’s wife and former head of controls Madhuri Jain under Section 420, a person aware of the matter said.

The matter will be heard in the Delhi high court on Thursday.

The development comes months after Grover, along with his wife, were ousted by the BharatPe board over misappropriation of funds.

Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with the offence of cheating and dishonestly inducing the delivery of property. The maximum punishment for the offence is imprisonment for up to seven years and a fine.

Grover declined to comment.

In February, Mint first reported that Grover and Jain were charged with alleged misappropriation of funds. The firing was based on findings of an Alvarez and Marsal preliminary report, dated 24 January, that was submitted to the BharatPe board.

The preliminary investigations, which led to the board of BharatPe terminating the services of Grover and his wife, found irregularities related to vendor payments.

The allegations of financial discrepancies are on the grounds of irregularities in recruitment and getting third-party vendors.

PwC was brought in later, in addition to Alvarez and Marsal, to investigate the irregularities. PwC was brought on board to look at the transactions of the fintech firm and verify the company’s internal checks. The company’s own findings on the financial irregularities were also shared with PwC and Alvarez and Marsal.

“The investigation is now complete. The audit is done, and the report is finished. Based on the report, BharatPe has filed the criminal case for fraud of over 80 crore,” the person stated.

Grover also lost an arbitration that he had filed with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), claiming that BharatPe’s investigations against him were illegal.

Grover was represented by Karanjawala & Co., while senior counsel Abhishek Singhvi represented BharatPe then. Ten days after the SIAC ruling, Grover was sacked from all posts of BharatPe.

BharatPe has hired MZM legal to represent its case.

Grover is also launching his book, Doglapan: The Hard Truth about Life and Start-Ups (forthcoming from Penguin), and has been promoting it.

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