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BharatPe Vs Taxman: GST Authorities To Expand Probe Into Alleged Tax Evasion

BharatPe Vs Taxman: GST Authorities To Expand Probe Into Alleged Tax Evasion

The GST investigations body is expected to expand the scope of its probe into the company to cover more individuals

It is likely to probe cases of the company providing invoices to vendors without offering any service in exchange

BharatPe has already deposited over INR 12.5 Cr with the Directorate General For GST Intelligence

After reports about BharatPe already depositing over INR 12.5 Cr with the Directorate General For GST Intelligence, there could be more trouble for the beleaguered fintech giant. As per reports, the GST investigations body is expected to expand the scope of its probe into the company to cover more individuals who are said to be close to ousted cofounder Ashneer Grover.

Moreover, the agency has claimed that results of the investigation would be available before the end of March 2022.

According to a PTI report, based on quotes from unnamed DGGI officials, authorities are currently looking into more fake invoices furnished by the company, particularly those close to Grover, who was dismissed by BharatPe on March 02, 2022, after months of public limelight on the company amid a slew of controversies.

The report claims that GST authorities will be looking into BharatPe’s books for the last four fiscal years, essentially the lifetime of the fintech unicorn which was founded in FY2018.

The DGGI will reportedly look to see whether fake invoices were issued to other customers. “The original GST evasion case pertained to issuance of fake invoice without any actual supply of goods. Following the recent allegations against Madhuri Jain, we are now looking into the fake invoice issuance without any actual service,” the official was quoted as saying by the agency.

Besides Grover, his wife and former head of controls at BharatPe, Madhuri Jain Grover, is also embroiled in the allegations. Jain Grover had headed BharatPe’s procurement, admin and HR departments since 2018, is said to be linked to fraudulent schemes directly and through her brother Shwetank Jain.

The GST investigation into BharatPe is said to have been prompted after an internal inquiry by the company found discrepancies in payments to certain vendors.

Grover has continued to deny these allegations and even claimed that the company has vilified his family in public, but BharatPe has come out strongly and counter-alleged that the mercurial entrepreneur and angel investor is fabricating allegations.

This week, BharatPe cofounder Shashvat Nakrani has now said that Grover allegedly tried to create a false narrative about the company. In an internal memo, Nakrani explained his point saying that, “Ashneer sent in his resignation late night on March 1, 2022 to the board, minutes after receiving the agenda of the board meeting on the findings of the PwC report.”

He further backed the Board saying it had acted ‘quickly and decisively’, adding that the action was taken to ‘uphold good corporate governance.”

Nakrani’s company-wide memo comes a day after Inc42 raised a host of questions ranging from the talent problem for BharatPe to a culture and vision dilution threat. With the public mudslinging and managing its fallout becoming a top priority for the company, it appears that BharatPe’s focus is away from the business and this could erode its competitive edge too.

Earlier in February, Nakrani had issued a statement backing BharatPe CEO Suhail Sameer. Indicating his allegiance to Sameer, Nakrani had backed the CEO’s presence on the Board after Grover had called for Sameer’s expulsion.