BharatPe Co-founder Ashneer Grover Faces IT Notice Amidst Allegations of Vendetta

BharatPe's co-founder Ashneer Grover faces an Income Tax notice for his personal tax filings, alleging a possible vendetta. Grover also accuses BharatPe's Chairman, Rajnish Kumar, of self-benefitting actions, prompting him to seek an RBI investigation. The company faces scrutiny from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Grover's history of legal clashes adds complexity to the situation, reflecting challenges in the startup ecosystem.

BharatPe Co-founder Ashneer Grover Faces IT Notice Amidst Allegations of Vendetta

BharatPe's co-founder, Ashneer Grover, finds himself entangled in a web of controversies yet again as he discloses receiving an Income Tax notice concerning his personal tax filings for the assessment year 2022-23. Grover, known for his outspoken nature, took to social media platform X, later removed, to express his dismay, alleging the timing and nature of the notice hint towards a vindictive agenda.

The notice, issued under subsection (1) of Section 142 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, mandates Grover to provide detailed accounts and documents by 12:28 pm Wednesday (March 13). Furthermore, it calls for information as per Section 144B of the IT Act, a provision aimed at leveraging technology to streamline communication and verification processes between taxpayers and the authorities.

In his now-deleted post, Grover raised concerns over what he perceives as "tax terrorism or vendetta," emphasizing the abruptness and apparent lack of genuineness in the notice's issuance. He tagged prominent authorities including Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the Income Tax Department, signaling his intent to address the issue publicly.

Simultaneously, Grover has embarked on another battlefront, directing his accusations towards Rajnish Kumar, the Chairman of BharatPe's Board. Allegations of self-granting equity shares worth hundreds of crores and a substantial hike in annual salary have prompted Grover to seek an investigation by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). These claims add fuel to the fire surrounding BharatPe, already under scrutiny by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, as evidenced by a Section 206 notice issued to the company in January 2024.

While the authenticity of Grover's claims remains to be independently verified, his latest skirmish with the law adds to a string of legal entanglements. Previously, BharatPe initiated legal action against Grover following his disclosure of the company's Series E fundraising details on a social media platform, resulting in a legal battle concerning breach of confidentiality.

The unfolding saga involving Ashneer Grover and BharatPe underscores the complexities and challenges inherent in the startup ecosystem. As the narrative continues to evolve, stakeholders keenly observe how these developments will shape the future trajectory of one of India's prominent fintech ventures.