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BharatPe Co-founder Nakrani denies he wants new CEO to be fired from Board

New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) In yet another turn in the ongoing BharatPe saga, the other Co-founder, Shashvat Mansukhbhai Nakrani, on Saturday denied that he had also given his consent, as claimed by Co-founder and Managing Director Ashneer Grover in his letter, to remove new CEO Suhail Sameer from the Board of BharatPe.

Media reports had mentioned that Grover’s letter also included the consent of Mansukhbhai Nakrani to remove Sameer from the Board of Directors.

Nakrani and Grover had jointly nominated Sameer as a director of the fintech platform on August 20 last year.

In a statement shared with IANS, Nakrani said: “I have neither given my consent, nor sought the removal of Suhail Sameer from the Board of BharatPe, and I fully support his continuance on the Board.”

“I can confirm that I was one of the two joint nominees in the appointment resolution of Suhail Sameer as the CEO and Board member of BharatPe, and he continues to enjoy my support,” Nakrani added.

The controversy around Ashneer Grover (also the Shark Tank India host) and his wife is getting thicker, with reports claiming that a preliminary probe by a third-party risk advisory firm has discovered alleged financial frauds during the period when Grover and his wife were at the helm of the fintech platform.

Through its legal firm, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, BharatPe had appointed Alvarez and Marsal, a leading management consultant and risk advisory firm, to look into financial irregularities at the firm and submit the report to the Board.

According to multiple media reports, Alvarez and Marsal submitted its report to the BharatPe Board, which raised alleged financial irregularities in recruitment processes as well as paying non-existent vendors.

Grover’s wife Madhuri Grover served as head of control at BharatPe since its incorporation and headed procurement and admin departments.

She, along with Grover, has gone on voluntary leave after the controversy erupted over Ashneer allegedly using inappropriate language against Kotak Mahindra Bank staff.

Grover or his wife are yet to comment on the reports citing financial irregularities when they were at the helm.

In an earlier twist, Grover wrote to the company Board asking for the removal of newly-appointed CEO Suhail Sameer.

In his letter to the Board, Grover, who has gone on voluntary leave till March-end, asked the Board for Sameer’s removal.

“I, now, in exercise of the power vested in me by Clause 3.7 of the SHA and Clause 91.7 of the AoA do hereby withdraw, my nomination of Suhail Sameer as a Director in the Board of Directors of the Company.

“In light thereof, I, Ashneer Grover, request the Board of Directors of the company to complete the necessary processes to record the cessation of the Directorship of Suhail Sameer as a Director of the Company,” Grover wrote in the letter.

In a statement on Friday, BharatPe said that it is “deeply pained that the integrity of the BharatPe board or individual board members is being questioned time and again”.

“The Board in all its actions has followed due process in the best interest of the company. We would urge that the confidentiality and integrity of the Governance review and board meetings is maintained by all,” the fintech platform said, adding that the Board is yet to receive any interim or final report of the review.

Earlier, reports surfaced that BharatPe had terminated Grover. But BharatPe said last week that it has not terminated the services of any employee (including Grover) at this stage, and initiated an internal audit process.

–IANS

na/arm

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