At Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport, former BharatPe CEO Ashneer Grover and his wife, Madhuri Jain, found themselves at the center of a controversy. The duo was barred from boarding an international flight bound for New York, based on a lookout circular issued by Delhi Police's Economic Offences Wing (EoW).
This incident has sparked significant attention, raising questions about the nature of the allegations against Grover and the unfolding drama surrounding the case.
The FIR filed by the EoW in May allegedly lists charges such as criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, and forgery against Grover, his wife, and other family members. The charges stem from an investigation into alleged fraud at BharatPe, revealing unexplained payments to HR firms associated with Grover. These payments, as reported by sources, were made through backdated invoices, raising concerns about financial irregularities within the company.
The amounts involved are substantial, with Rs 7.6 crore paid to fake firms and Rs 1.66 crore as a penalty to Goods and Services Tax authorities. An additional Rs 71.76 crore was purportedly siphoned off through other fictitious transactions.
If convicted, the accused could face a jail term ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment. Responding to the allegations, Grover confidently asserted that he would be the "last man standing" after his critics faded away.
Grover, seemingly unfazed, dismissed the situation as "strange" and pointed out that he had travelled abroad and returned four times since the EoW filed its case in May. The FIR against him and his family members includes charges like criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, and forgery.
Hello ! Hello !— Ashneer Grover (@Ashneer_Grover) November 17, 2023
Kya chal raha hai India mein ? Filhaal to Ashneer stopped at airport chal raha hai janab.
1. I had not received any communication or summon from EOW since FIR in May till 8 AM today 17 morning (7 hours after returning from airport).
2. I was going to… pic.twitter.com/I0OHOXJd6F
Sharing the details on social media, Grover highlighted key facts:
- He had not received any communication or summons from EoW since the FIR in May until the morning of November 17.
- He was en route to the United States from November 16–23.
- Immigration officials cited the LoC and mentioned checking with EoW.
- Despite previous international travels post-FIR, this was the first issue encountered.
- The flight left in the meantime, and EoW directed immigration to allow them to return home.
- The EoW summons was home-delivered on the same morning.
Grover's Response and Defiance
In a characteristic style, Mr. Grover laughed off the incident, stating, "No drama. LOC hatane ka process hai - I am not a flight risk - easy to prove (There is a process to remove the LoC... I am not a flight risk, this is easy to prove)." He urged media to print whatever they wanted, adding, "Baaki aapko jo chhaapna hai chhaapo. Picture chal rahi hai free mein - maze lo! (Whatever else you want to print, print... the picture is playing for free - enjoy!)"
I’ll be last man standing long after ‘BharatPe’ , Sequoia (oh sorry they already wrapped up in India), 2 takke ke anpadh press vaale and ‘Twitter’ judges are gone ! Mark my words !!— Ashneer Grover (@Ashneer_Grover) November 15, 2023
Le Honourable HC : FIR quashing admitted and being heard. Not a single relief to BharatPe in… pic.twitter.com/WV0Hf3JurE
The entrepreneur, now heading CrickPe, a fantasy sports app, ended on a defiant note, addressing premature obituaries with a Punjabi proverb: "'Jatt mareya tad maniye jad terami howe' (Don't pronounce me dead till 13 days after you've burned me at the pyre!)"
Suggested reading: BharatPe Fires Madhuri Jain Grover Amid Allegations Of Financial Fraud