Election commissioner Ashok Lavasa’s son and director of food startup Nourish Organic Foods Private Limited, Abir Lavasa, has allegedly quit from his post.
Lavasa quit on December 3 following a Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) investigation against him and the firm, according to ThePrint. His resignation is yet to be accepted.
Lavasa has been the director of Nourish Organic Foods since November 14, 2017. The Delhi-based company was founded in 2002 and Lavasa allegedly holds 10K shares in the company.
Earlier media reports suggested that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioned Lavasa for alleged violation of foreign exchange laws. It probed into the investment of INR 7.25 Cr from Mauritius-based Saama Capital in March 2019. ED summoned him for a case of FEMA violation. It was alleged that despite Nourish Organic Foods running in losses, it got investments from Saama Capital. Inc42’s mails to Saama Capital and Nourish did not elicit any responses.
Lavasa’s mother, Novel Singha, was also earlier questioned by the Income Tax Department on charges of alleged tax evasion. The department reportedly issued a notice seeking details in her returns with regard to holding directorship in 10 companies.
“Lavasa’s mother Novel has also decided to quit the board of at least two companies she serves on as director because of a tax evasion probe against her. They have been urging her to step down as well. So she also feels that if this would be in the interest of the companies, she’d rather step down,” ThePrint reported, quoting unidentified sources.
The mother and son duo has decided to quit in the larger interest of the firms. “He felt that it was necessary for the survival of the company, which is why he decided to move on,” another source added.
Saama Capital is an India focused venture capital fund that has been investing in Indian startups since 2006 across sectors. In May 2019, Bengaluru-based vernacular digital media startup Homescreen Network raised $2 Mn in a Series A round of funding from the VC firm. The startup, founded in 2018, uses deep analytics and technology to create custom content for regional audiences.
In 2018, Bengaluru-based Datasigns Technologies Pvt Ltd, which runs fintech platform Shubh Loans, also raised $4.2 Mn funding from Saama Capital. Shubh Loans is a risk platform that forges traditional and non-traditional data to facilitate financial services to those outside the formal credit system.