Ashneer Grover to pay Rs 2 L fine over defamatory posts against BharatPe: Delhi HC

New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Tuesday imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on BharatPe’s former MD Ashneer Grover in response to alleged defamatory social media posts against the fintech company.

Justice Rekha Palli expressed dismay at the persistent and blatant violation of earlier orders and assurances made by Grover.

The judge, appalled by this behaviour, decided to close the matter, binding Grover to his undertaking but imposed a cost of Rs 2 lakh. The court directed the payment to the high court’s clerks’ association.

The court took on record Grover’s apology and undertaking but proceeded to levy the fine, saying that it cannot be taken for granted.

Senior advocate Akhil Sibal for plaintiff — owner of BharatPe, Resilient Innovations Pvt Ltd — pointed out Grover’s continued violation of court orders and urged the court to issue an injunction restraining him from posting defamatory content.

In response, Grover’s counsel mentioned his client’s apology and undertaking to refrain from offensive posts in the future, suggesting the matter be disposed of.

The counsel also proposed mediation to resolve the dispute.

Earlier, the court had directed Ashneer Grover and the officials of the fintech company not to speak in a “unparliamentary” or “defamatory” manner against one another.

After Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) filed an FIR against Grover and members of his family, BharatPe had filed an application alleging that Grover had been tweeting defamatory statements ever since.

BharatPe filed the application in its already pending defamation suit related to Grover’s earlier tweets.

“This is not a street fight between some rival gangs in the corner of the city. These are corporate people, educated people, articulate people who can surely adjudicate their grievances against each other in a more refined way,” Justice Prateek Jalan had said.

“If you have both decided to enter the gutter, then please remain there.”

Appearing for the fintech company, senior advocates Rajiv Nayar and Dayan Krishnan had referred to some of Grover’s tweets which alleged that the firm has spent several crores on “lawyers and fixers”.

Grover can dispute the BharatPe complaint against him and the Delhi Police’s FIR in court if he has issues with the company’s complaint, the counsel had argued.

Highlighting some of the tweets by BharatPe officials, advocate Giriraj Subramanium, appearing for Grover, had said that BharatPe officials have used similar language against his client on social media and levelled allegations against Grover in the Press.

The bench then said that such statements should not be made by two sides.

“Issue notice, Mr Subramanium learned counsel for all respondents accepts notice. Reply be filed by May 20, rejoinder by May 22. List before the roster bench on May 24. While keeping the application pending for adjudication on contest, the learned counsel on all sides have requested to advise their clients to avoid recourse to unparliamentary and defamatory publication against each other,” the court ordered as Subramanium said that he will advise Grover to use more decorous language.

BharatPe had approached the High Court months after Grover and his wife were dismissed from the company over allegations of misappropriation of funds.

In its suit, running into 2,800 pages, BharatPe has claimed damages worth Rs 88.67 crore from Grover, his wife, and his brother for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds.

The damages sought include a claim for payment made against the invoices of non-existent vendors amounting to Rs 71.7 crore, a claim for Rs 1.66 crore penalty paid to GST authorities, payments totalling Rs 7.6 crore made to vendors purportedly providing recruitment services, payments of Rs 1.85 crore made to a furnishings company, payments for personal expenditures up to Rs 59.7 lakh and payment of Rs 5 crore damages for loss of reputation to the company caused by tweets and other statements made by them.

In its suit, the fintech company claimed that a Rajasthan-based travel company had raised invoices for foreign tours twice, once for Grover and his wife and second time, for their children. The family also used the company’s funds to travel abroad.

The suit further claimed that the Grovers used the company funds to pay the rent and security deposit of their posh duplex and for home appliances, too. The duplex was first taken over by Grovers as the company’s guest house but eventually they started living there, the suit claimed.

IANS

‘My work is over here’: Justice Gangopadhyay ends judicial career with recommendation for action against district judge

Kolkata: Calcutta High Court's Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay on Monday ended his career on the bench with a recommendation for proceedings against a district judge in West Bengal's East Midnapore. He...

Cash-for-query row: Delhi HC rejects interim injunction against ‘defamatory’ posts on Mahua Moitra

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to grant interim relief to Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra in a defamation suit against BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and lawyer...

Delhi HC exempts custom duties on medicines for rare diseases

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has said that custom duties and charges will not be applied to medicines, drugs, and therapies used for treating rare diseases. This decision comes...

Delhi court acquits 3 men in false rape case, orders action against accuser

New Delhi: A Delhi court has acquitted three men accused of gang rape and kidnapping, citing the misuse of law by the accuser. Additional Sessions Judge Jagmohan Singh of Rohini...

MPs/MLAs cannot claim immunity from prosecution for engaging in bribery: SC

New Delhi: A 7-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Monday overruled a 1998 judgment granting immunity to legislators from criminal prosecution for accepting bribes to make a speech...

Delhi court extends Siodia, Sanjay Singh’s judicial custody in excise policy case till March 7

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday extended the judicial custody of former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia, and AAP MP, Sanjay Singh, in the excise policy case by...

Delhi HC overturns CIC directive to reveal Ram Temple Trust’s tax info

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has overturned an order by the Central Information Commission (CIC), which had mandated the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to disclose information about...

SC refuses to entertain Asaram Bapu’s plea seeking suspension of sentence in rape case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea filed by self-styled godman, Asaram Bapu, seeking suspension of sentence on medical grounds. Asaram has been serving life...

Men can be victims of sexual assault too, observes Kerala HC

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday observed that men too can be victims of sexual assault, not just women. "Sexual assault is not confined to girls, it happens to...

Calcutta HC allows central fact-finding team, LoP to visit Sandeshkhali

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday, while acting on two separate petitions, permitted the central fact-finding team and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, to...

Land-for-job case: Delhi court grants regular bail to ex-Bihar CM Rabri Devi, daughters

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday granted regular bail to former Bihar Chief Minister and RJD chief LaluPrasad's wife Rabri Devi and her daughters -- Misa Bharti and Hema...

Hindu petition seeks to restrict entry on terrace of Gyanvapi cellar

Varanasi (UP): The Hindu side in the Gyanvapi case filed a new petition on Wednesday at the Varanasi district court, seeking to stop the entry into the terrace of the...

Read Previous

As Centre’s envoy visits, Tripura party firm on demand of ‘Greater Tipraland’ state for tribals

Read Next

Rahul Gandhi to visit Indonesia, Malaysia & Singapore from Dec 8 to 15

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com