Sandeep Aggarwal, founder of e-tailer ShopClues, has filed a first information report (FIR) against his estranged wife and co-founder Radhika Ghai Aggarwal and co-founder and CEO Sanjay Sethi, accusing them of criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery.
The hostility between the two sides, primarily over the control of the Gurgaon-based unicorn, first surfaced six months ago when Sandeep Aggarwal accused Radhika and Sanjay Sethi of thwarting his return to the company. Aggarwal had to relinquish his board seat and position as CEO of ShopClues following insider trading charges in the US in 2013.
In the FIR filed at Delhi’s Saket police station, Sandeep Aggarwal has alleged that Sanjay Sethi and Radhika Aggarwal fabricated several documents to take control of the company, and hatched a conspiracy to oust the complainant. He has 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 an accused.
Sandeep Aggarwal has also accused the co-founders of going back on the understanding that he would be reinstated as CEO of ShopClues once he returned from the US, where he was facing legal proceedings. The final verdict in the insider trading case against Sandeep Aggarwal is awaited.
Sandeep Aggarwal has also made other accusations, such as misappropriation of funds by the duo, and Radhika’s refusal to transfer shares in auto marketplace Droom and Data Guise that he claims to have entrusted her with.
The Economic Times was the first to report the development.
Sandeep Kapur, partner at Karanjawala & Co, the counsel representing the ShopClues management, reacted sharply to the allegations. “Mr Sandeep Aggarwal was arrested by the FBI and is awaiting his sentence in the US courts (punishment for which is up to 20 years) and has filed the present FIR while concealing the fact that, he has previously made an attempt on similar grounds at the Economic Offences Wing in Gurgaon wherein the investigating authorities were pleased to file a closure report in favour of the management of ShopClues,” Kapur told the financial daily.
“Apart from being on bail in the US, Mr Aggarwal is also out on bail in India and facing trials for criminal defamation, violence and outraging the modesty of women… the initiation of the instant FIR and seeking a media trial is nothing but an attempt by Mr Sandeep Aggarwal to continue to malign the reputation of ShopClues,” Kapur added.
Previously, ShopClues investors including Nexus Venture Partners, Tiger Global Management, Helion Ventures and Singapore’s GIC have denounced Sandeep Aggarwal’s charges.
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