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Delhi HC disposes appeal against single-judge who rejected restraining order on BharatPe's Grover over unpaid shares

IANS | February 22, 2024 04:35 PM

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Thursday disposed BharatPe's co-founder Shashvat Nakrani’s appeal against a single-judge’s order refusing to grant a restraining order against the fintech company's former Managing Director, Ashneer Grover, in connection with a case filed over claims of unpaid shares.

Justice Sachin Datta had, on December 15, 2023 rejected the interim application filed by Nakrani in his lawsuit against Grover, seeking to prevent him from alienating, transferring, or creating third-party rights in the unpaid shares.

The Division Bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Amit Bansal has not interfered with the single-judge's order but expedited the trial of Nakrani's case.

After arguing the case briefly, the two sides came to a consensus that the appeal can be disposed of with directions to the single-judge to expedite the trial in the matter.

To this, the Bench asked the single-judge to frame the issues in the matter on February 28, also the next date of hearing.

Notably, the single-judge had clarified that it had declined the interim injunction but had directed Grover to provide prior intimation to Nakrani, if and when, he decides to transfer or alienate the shares in question.

Representing Nakrani, senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul had earlier contended that in the case filed by co-founder Bhavik Koladiya on the same lines, the court has issued summons and has asked Grover to not create any third-party rights in respect of the shares in BharatPe.

Kaul had said that it is Grover's stand that he has paid for the shares in cash. The court had noted that the case was filed about five years after the shares were stated to have been transferred while Kaul argued for an interim relief.

Lawyer Giriraj Subramanium, Grover's counsel, was questioned by Judge Datta if he was prepared to make a statement that no third-party rights would be created over the shares.

To this, Subramanium said that he has instructions not to make such a statement.

"The plaintiff has been heard at some length in the interim relief application. Counsel for the defendant says they don't want to file a response to the application, " the court had said.

Koladiya's suit seeking to reclaim transferred shares remains pending before another Bench of the High Court.

In the case, when the court had earlier asked Grover not to create any third-party rights over the shares, he had informed the court that subject to further directions from the court, he would not make any third-party interest in the 16, 110 shares that Koladiya transferred to him and in any rights that accrue to him as a consequence thereof.

A single-Bench judge Justice Prateek Jalan had ordered that Grover would be bound by his statement and directed him to file the undertaking.

The Bench had noted, "D1 (Grover) is bound to the aforesaid statement and is directed to file an undertaking."

Nakrani and Koladiya founded the fintech company in 2017. In 2018, Grover joined the company as the third co-founder.

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