Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ashok Kumar Saxena posted a photo in Vancouver, Washington, USA, on August 11, 2021. REUTERS / Alisha Jucevic /

By Abhirup Roy and Aditya Kalra

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian court on Monday gave police three weeks to conclude an investigation into the claims of a former Paytm director who said he was a co-founder of the digital payment platform but did not receive due action .

Ashok Kumar Saxena, 71, in legal documents, said he invested $ 27,500 two decades ago in One97 Communications, one of Paytm’s parents, but was never assigned shares, Reuters reported this month https: / /reut.rs/3j746WJ.

Paytm has said the claim amounts to harassment and has cited it under “criminal proceedings” in the brochure for its proposed $ 2.2 billion initial public offering (OPO). Saxena, director from 2000 to 2004, has written to the market regulator urging him to let Paytm continue to go public.

Corporate governance experts say the conflict could lead to regulatory investigations and complicate the approval of a IPO that could value Paytm, backed by Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba (NYSE 🙂 Group Holding Ltd, with up to $ 25 billion https://reut.rs/2WeMXlg.

On Monday, a Delhi district court judge requested the final report of the police investigation within three weeks.

“I urge them to conclude the investigation as soon as possible,” Metropolitan Magistrate Animesh Kumar said.

Police have submitted a state report to the court, but have not yet concluded the investigation, senior lawyer Anupam Lal Das, representing Saxena, told Reuters after the hearing.

A Delhi police officer declined to comment. Paytm did not respond to any comments.

The core of the dispute is a document seen by Reuters, dated 2001 and signed by Saxena and Paytm’s current CEO, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, which states that Saxena owned 55% of One97’s communications with Sharma. owner of the rest.

Paytm, in response to a police warning and which saw Reuters, denied that Saxena was a co-founder and said the document in question was “just a letter of intent” that “did not materialize in any definitive agreement.”

Sharma did not respond to any requests for comment.

The case will be known on September 13.

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