Flipkart co-founders booked for ’cheating’ businessman
Photo Credit: Reuters

The Bangalore police have registered a case of cheating under different sections of the Indian Penal Code against Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, co-founders of ecommerce major Flipkart, and three employees of the company.

The case is pertaining to cheating and criminal breach of trust filed by a city-based businessman who alleged that the firm cheated him of Rs 9.96 crore, according to media reports.

Denying the allegations, a Flipkart spokesperson said the complaint is false and baseless. "Flipkart strongly denies all the allegations and averments made in the FIR," the spokesperson said in an email response.

The Indiranagar police registered an FIR against Flipkart co-founders and three other executives – sales director Hari, accounts managers Sumit Anand and Sharauque – on the basis of a complaint filed by Naveen Kumar, manager of a company named C-Store.

According to the petition, C-Store had supplied 14,000 laptops to Flipkart between June 2015 and June 2016 for its Big Billion Day sale event. Flipkart returned some of the unsold laptops, but did not pay for the remaining units and the shipping costs amounting to Rs 9.96 crore.

According to the Indiranagar police, a case has been registered under IPC sections 34 (common intent), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) and a probe is underway.

"Flipkart is exploring all legal possibilities to safeguard its interests, including but not limited to initiating proceedings for defamation against the complainant. The FIR appears to be nothing but an endeavour to harass and pressurise the company to succumb to baseless demands," the Flipkart spokesperson said.

The Bengaluru-based e-commerce giant was involved in another legal tussle recently when its former chief operating officer Nitin Seth sent the firm a legal notice over the manner in which he was dismissed from the company.

Besides acting as COO, Seth was also in charge of the e-commerce firm’s in-house logistics firm Ekart, supply chain and customer experience. Seth, former managing director and country head of investment firm Fidelity International in India, had joined Flipkart as chief people officer in February last year. He had replaced Mekin Maheshwari, one of the highest-paid executives at Flipkart at the time. Seth became COO in January this year after a major reshuffle of the top management, when Krishnamurthy, a former Tiger Global executive, was appointed CEO.

Seth’s exit came at a time when Krishnamurthy was taking direct control of various functions at the firm. It was reported that Krishnamurthy would be overseeing the human resources function. Besides this, he will also be in charge of finance, category design management, private label, customer shopping, engineering and marketing.

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