Giving relief to ShopClues CEO Sanjay Sethi and chief business officer Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday passed a ‘no coercion order’ on the police complaint filed by founder and former CEO Sandeep Aggarwal alleging forgery and criminal conspiracy.
After the state additional public prosecutor sought time to file a status report on the case, the High Court ruled that “No coercive steps be taken against the petitioner (Radhika Aggarwal) till the next date of hearing,” which will be notified on 16 October.
Sandeep Kapur, partner at Karanjawala & Co, the counsel representing the ShopClues management, said the first information report (FIR) was filed with an intent to harass and defame the company and its founders. Kapur argued that a similar complaint filed by Sandeep Aggarwal at the Economic Offences Wing in Gurgaon was, after due investigation, closed in favour of the company management.
“There is already a gag order from the Delhi High Court in force, which forbids Sandeep Aggarwal from making any statements about the company or its founders and, specifically, anything that can prejudice or defame the company or its founders. In fact, it even forbids Sandeep Aggarwal from showing any current association with the company in any manner,” Kapur said in a statement.
The hostility between the two sides, primarily over the control of the Gurgaon-based unicorn, first surfaced six months ago when Sandeep Aggarwal accused co-founders Radhika and Sanjay Sethi of thwarting his return to the company. Sandeep Aggarwal had to relinquish his board seat and position as CEO of ShopClues following insider trading charges in the US in 2013.
The acrimonious exchange between the two sides once again hit headlines early this week, following the FIR that Sandeep Aggarwal filed at Delhi’s Saket Police Station. He accused Sethi and Radhika Aggarwal of fabricating several documents to take control of the company, and hatching a conspiracy to oust the complainant. He also alleged that his voting rights as the largest common shareholder to nominate two board members were taken away by fraudulently changing the pages of the documents he signed. The FIR also names Sanjay Sethi’s wife Nupur Sethi as a party to the alleged conspiracy.