18 Jan 2023 7:16 AM GMT
BharatPe’s Former Managing Director Ashneer Grover on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that he will not make any third party interest in 16,110 shares transferred to him by fintech company’s co-founder Bhavik Koladiya and in any rights that accrue to him as a consequence thereof, subject to further orders of the court. Hearing a suit filed by Koladiya along with an interim application...
BharatPe’s Former Managing Director Ashneer Grover on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that he will not make any third party interest in 16,110 shares transferred to him by fintech company’s co-founder Bhavik Koladiya and in any rights that accrue to him as a consequence thereof, subject to further orders of the court.
Hearing a suit filed by Koladiya along with an interim application to restrain Grover from creating any third party rights in respect of the shares in BharatPe, Justice Prateek Jalan ordered that Grover will be bound by his statement and directed him to file an undertaking to the said effect within one week.
The court issued summons to Grover and the fintech company and also granted four weeks time to Grover for filing reply to the application seeking ad interim injunction, along with a rejoinder to the same within two weeks thereafter.
“After some hearing, the counsel appearing for defendant no. 1 (Grover) seeks time to file the reply to the application and states the defendant no. 1 will, subject to further orders of the court, not create any third party interest in the suit shares and in any rights that accrue to him as a consequence thereof,” the court recorded.
As Grover’s counsel sought inspection of photocopy of a letter agreement executed between Koladiya and defendants, Koladiya’s counsel stated that Grover’s counsel may inspect the the said document after coordinating with him.
The fintech company was found by Koladiya in 2017 along with another co-founder Shashvat Nakrani. Thereafter, Grover joined the company in 2018 as the third co-founder.
During the hearing today, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for Koladiya submitted that his client is entitled to get his shares back which he had transferred as the title in the same has not been passed to Grover. Rohatgi said that Koladiya was in the position of an unpaid seller within the meaning of Sale of Goods Act.
“Property in the goods title did not pass to him (Grover). Even in 2021, this man on WhatsApp chat showed that shares are still mine. I am an unpaid seller. When title has not passed, you're entitled to get your goods back,” Rohatgi said.
Submitting that the transaction in question did not conclude the way it was intended to be in terms of agreement, Rohtagi submitted Koladiya is entitled in law to treat the same as a case where title has not passed to Grover, thus making him entitled to get his shares back.
“What has happened is, a transaction without consideration,” he added.
Referring to the agreement in question, Rohatgi further said: “Indication is clear, I'll give with one hand and take from the other. This is simultaneous….. I've done whatever. My client was gullible. There are gullible people, what can I say?”
On the other hand, Grover’s counsel referred to two agreements to argue that Koladiya had taken one part from the agreement he signed wth Grover and attached it to the other agreement which he signed with other investors.
“With me the consideration was supposed to be different, 88 lakhs,” he said.
However, Justice Jalan said that the allegation of fraud in the agreement will be considered at the time of trial and that some document has to be shown for a prima facie finding at the interim stage.
Grover’s counsel further submitted that his client’s wife hd transferred a sum of Rs. 8 crores to Koladiya's wife, forming part of the transaction of Rs. 88 lakhs in question. However, the said contention was objected by Rohatgi.
“There can't be a lie on a lie on a lie,” Rohatgi said.
The matter will now be heard on March 16.
As reported by Mint, when Grover joined the company, he got 32% equity, Nakrani held 25.5% whereas Koladiya still remained the largest shareholder in the company with a 42.5% stake.
”However, six months later in December 2018 just before Sequoia came on board as an investor, Koladiya’s name went missing from the founders' list “owing to discomfort on the part of large institutional investors to have a person with a jail term in the US,” the report states.
Bhavik Koladiya was represented by Mukul Rohatgi, Senior Counsel, Gaurav Pachnanda Senior Counsel, Akhil Sibal, Senior Counsel who were briefed by Sidhant Goel, Mohit Goel Deepankar Mishra and Karmanya Sharma from Sim and San – Attorneys at Law.
Title: BHAVIK KOLADIYA v. ASHNEER GROVER & ANR.