FIR against BharatPe's Ashneer Grover, family for ₹81 crore alleged fintech fraud
An FIR is filed against former MD of BharatPe, Ashneer Grover, along with his wife and family members for the alleged fintech fraud of ₹81 crore.
The Delhi Police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW) filed a FIR (first information report) on Wednesday against Ashneer Grover, his wife Madhuri Jain Grover, and family members Deepak Gupta, Suresh Jain, and Shwetank Jain for an alleged ₹81 crore fraud in December 2022 complained by BharatPe.
“The complaint was received at EOW and enquiry has been conducted into the allegations levelled against alleged persons. From the contents of the complaint and enquiry conducted so far, prima-facie offences punishable under Sections 406/408/409/420/467/468/471/120B IPC (Indian penal code) are made out," the FIR copy reads, reported by Hindustan Times sister publication Mint.
They are charged under eight sections of serious cognisable criminal offences, including 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, banker, merchant, or agent), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc.), and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
What is the case?
Over the last six months, Ashneer Grover, the co-founder and former MD of BharatPe, has been entangled in a number of court disputes.
He was fired from the the fintech in March 2022 on charges of financial irregularities. BharatPe filed a criminal charge and a civil suit against Grover and his family in December 2022, alleging fraud and seeking damages.
In addition, BharatPe filed an arbitration claim in Singapore to reclaim restricted shares and prohibit Grover from using the title "founder." Another lawsuit was launched against the Shark Tank India-fame in January 2023 by a former colleague. He was also sued by the fintech’s co-founder Shashvat Nakrani over “unpaid shares".
BharatPe reaction on the FIR
The fintech company termed filing of the FIR as a positive move, saying it reveals a number of dubious transactions the family carried out for their own financial advantage.
“… This FIR will now enable the Law enforcement agencies to investigate deeper into the criminality and bring the culprits to books. We have full faith in our country's judicial and law enforcement systems and are optimistic that this case will reach its logical conclusion. We will continue to extend all possible cooperation to the authorities," BharatPe said in its statement, Mint reported.
MZM legal, which is advising BharatPe on the criminal complaint, said, “After a detailed complaint was filed with the EOW, a thorough inquiry was conducted with voluminous documents on record. We are glad that cognizance has been taken and an FIR is now registered against Ashneer, his wife and others," Zulfiquar Memon, managing partner.