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BharatPe Co-founder Ashneer Grover Apologizes and Fined ₹2 Lakh for Defamatory Social Media Posts

BharatPe Co-founder Ashneer Grover Apologizes and Fined ₹2 Lakh for Defamatory Social Media Posts

Written by Sanjay Kumar

Highlights

  • BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover fined by Delhi High Court for defamatory social media posts, despite prior assurances.
  • Court emphasizes courtesy between BharatPe and Grover amid fallout, highlighting the impact of social media on the dispute.
  • Grover’s wife questioned in ₹81-crore fraud case; accusations include fake payments, forged invoices, and illegal transactions.

Ashneer Grover

Former managing director of BharatPe

  • Born: 14 June 1982 (age 41 years), Delhi
  • Organization founded: BharatPe
  • Spouse: Madhuri Jain Grover
  • Books: Doglapan: The Hard Truth about Life and Start-Ups

In a recent development, BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover has issued a public apology and been fined ₹2 lakh by the Delhi High Court for defamatory remarks made on social media about the fintech startup. This comes despite earlier assurances from Grover that he would refrain from such actions, as reported by Bar and Bench.

The Delhi High Court had previously advised both BharatPe and its estranged co-founder in January to maintain courtesy despite their fallout. The court explicitly urged Grover to avoid making allegedly defamatory statements, emphasizing the need for a civil resolution to their disputes.

“Social media has actually brought us down to this level. What are we doing here? Basically, they should be courteous to each other… You have fallen out, fight your litigation,” remarked the court.

Notably, Grover’s wife, Madhuri Jain, faced questioning by the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing last week in connection with an alleged ₹81-crore fraud at BharatPe. Grover himself was summoned but did not appear for questioning.

The complaint, filed in May 2023, alleges that Grover and his family caused damages of ₹81.3 crore through illegal payments. BharatPe claims that fake payments were made to human resource consultants, invoices were forged, illegal payments were made for travel expenses, and nonexistent transactions were added to input tax credit along with the payment of penalties to GST authorities.

Madhuri Jain, former Joint Director-HR at BharatPe, is at the center of the allegations and was terminated last year. Ashneer Grover, who gained fame as one of the ‘sharks’ on Shark Tank India, resigned as CEO shortly after.

If convicted, the accused could face between 10 years to life in prison.

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