BharatPe removes Ashneer Grover from all company positions day after he resigned
The firm alleged that the former co-founder and his family had ‘misappropriated’ funds for their ‘lavish’ lifestyle.
BharatPe on Wednesday removed co-founder Ashneer Grover from all company positions for making false allegations and “misappropriation” of funds, according to a statement.
“Mr Grover is no longer an employee, founder or a director of the company,” the statement said. It added that the company reserves the right to take legal action against Grover and his family.
Grover had resigned from the company on Tuesday, after he received an upcoming board meeting agenda, which included consideration of action against him based on a report submitted by an advisory firm.
On February 23, Grover’s wife Madhuri Jain was sacked by the company for alleged financial irregularities including producing fake invoices.
On January 19, Grover announced he was going on a “voluntary leave of absence” till the end of March. In his resignation letter, Grover had alleged he was “vilified” and treated in “the most disrespectful manner” since January.
BharatPe on Wednesday alleged that the Grover’s family and his relatives engaged in “extensive misappropriation of company funds”.
According to BharatPe, the alleged misappropriation involved creating fake vendors, through which money from the company was siphoned away. “[They]…grossly abused company expense accounts in order to enrich themselves and fund their lavish lifestyles,” read the statement.
The company said it would not allow this “deplorable” conduct to tarnish the reputation of BharatPe or of its employees.
BharatPe said a team of independent external advisors are reviewing the company’s internal controls after its board received some complaints. The company also announced a series of steps to “strengthen” its corporate governance.
The former BharatPe co-founder has been embroiled in controversy ever since an audio clip of him allegedly using expletives against a Kotak Bank staffer had surfaced in January. While Grover claimed the audio clip was fake, the bank had said it would take legal action against Grover.
Grover told The Indian Express that he was “appalled” at the “personal nature” of the BharatPe statement but “not surprised”. “It comes from a position of personal hatred and low thinking,” he said.
Responding to the company’s allegations about his “lavish” lifestyle, he said, “The only thing lavish about me is my dreams and ability to achieve them against all odds through hard work and enterprise.”
He also sought to know who among the company’s audit team was reviewing the “lavishness” of a person’s lifestyle.