ashneer grover: NCLT tells Ashneer Grover to establish maintainability of plea against BharatPe

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The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Wednesday asked former BharatPe managing director Ashneer Grover to establish the maintainability of his petition filed with the tribunal seeking relief from actions taken by Gurugram-based fintech company against him, and his wife and former head of controls at BharatPe Madhuri Jain.

On Wednesday, the tribunal heard arguments on the quantum of stake Ashneer Grover, who is also the founder of BharatPe, holds in the company. His lawyer Giriraj Subramanium argued that compulsorily convertible preference shares (CCPS) issued to other investors of BharatPe did not have equivalence with equity shares, for which the tribunal asked the counsel to submit precedents.

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The case will be heard next on January 11.

Ashneer Grover filed the case with the NCLT’s New Delhi bench in January this year, pleading before the tribunal to declare the actions of BharatPe’s management led by chairman Rajnish Kumar as being against the interests of the company.

Also read | BharatPe vs Ashneer Grover saga: The story so far…

He also sought the revocation of Madhuri Jain’s termination from the company.

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Grover’s counsel Subramanium argued that he could seek relief under the Section 241 and 242 of the Companies Act 2013, considering he holds more than 40% of equity shares of the company, while stressing that investors of BharatPe, who were issued CCPS, had not converted them into equity shares.To this, the tribunal asked the petitioner to establish this by producing existing judgments that show whether preference shares should not be treated as equity shares while accounting for shareholding of a company. Failing this, the tribunal will dismiss the petition.

BharatPe and its board was represented by senior counsels Krishnendu Dutta, Abhijit Sinha along with Anuj Berry.

BharatPe, in February 2022, sacked Jain, alleging misappropriation of funds. It later filed a case with Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW), seeking action against the duo. In a status report to the Delhi High Court, last month, the EOW said it has found invoice discrepancies in BharatPe’s books, with at least eight human resource (HR) consultancy firms having linkages to Jain and her family members.

Grover has also appeared in front of the EOW for questioning in the alleged fraud case.

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