Ashneer Grover moves NCLT, alleges oppression and mismanagement by BharatPe

In his petition, Grover has prayed for reinstating him as managing director of the company and declare as "illegal" changes in the management of the company by altering the board of Resilient Innovations Pvt Ltd, which is doing business as BharatPe.

Ashneer Grover moves NCLT, alleges oppression and mismanagement by BharatPe

Thursday December 14, 2023,

3 min Read

BharatPe Co-founder and former Managing Director Ashneer Grover has moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), alleging oppressive conduct and mismanagement by the board of the fintech firm.

In his petition, Grover has prayed for reinstating him as managing director of the company and declare as "illegal" changes in the management of the company by altering the board of Resilient Innovations Pvt Ltd, which is doing business as BharatPe.

He has also requested NCLT to order inspection and audit of the company by Ministry of Corporate Affairs and to revert any shares/ESOPs issued since his resignation on March 1, 2022.

Grover has also sought revocation of termination of his wife Madhuri Jain by the board, terming it "illegal". He has also asked for the removal of any new member inducted on the board after his exit.

Moreover, he has requested NCLT to direct the winding up of the company in the "interest of justice" in the petition filed under Sections 241 and 242 of the Companies Act 2013, which deals with oppression and mismanagement.

Grover's plea came for a hearing last week on December 6, where his counsel sought time to address the issue of maintainability further.

A two-member bench comprising members Mahandra Khandelwal and Rahul Bhatnagar was directed to list the matter on January 11, 2024, for the next hearing.

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Grover has submitted he has a "prima facie" case on merits and the balance of convenience lies in his favour. In case relief is not granted, then grave irreparable harm, loss and injury would be caused to him, as per the petition.

In his petition, Grover has mentioned 12 respondents, including the company, its founder Shasvat Nakrani, Chairman Rajnish Kumar, former CEO and director Sushil Sameer and other directors and officials of Resilient Innovations.

Grover has alleged that he has a "coerced termination from the employment" of the company in an arbitrary manner and clawback of his restrictive shares "illegally, arbitrarily" without due compliance of the law.

The voice of a director and the largest individual shareholder of BharatPe has been muffled in order to mismanage the affairs of the company, he alleged.

"The entire conduct of the board of directors of Respondent No 1 (BharatPe) from sending the petitioner (Grover) on a temporary leave over a fabricated issue that has nothing to do with the affairs of the company to sending the petitioner of compulsory leave by passing a board resolution in excessive exercise and abuse of its power forcing to resign from Respondent No 1 company is nothing but conducting its affairs in a manner contrary to and prejudicial to .... ," he submitted.

He also questioned the haste on the part of BharatPe management to invoke arbitration at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).