Moneycontrol
Feb 16, 2017 01:32 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

CEO Sanjiv Gupta shouldn't have resigned from AskMe: Astro

Even as the matter is sub-judice, the status of jobs or pending compensation around 4,000 employees is at stake.

CEO Sanjiv Gupta shouldn't have resigned from AskMe: Astro

Priyanka Sahay


Moneycontrol


Even as liquidation proceedings for Astro funded e-commerce startup AskMe have started in courts, both, the investor Astro Entertainment Networks Limited (AENL) and former CEO and Managing Director Sanjiv Gupta are at loggerheads.


The Delhi High Court has also ordered a serious fraud investigation office (SFIO) probe for defalcation of money and asset.


AENL has welcomed the court's move saying it is keen to understand how its investment of USD 300 million was deployed by Sanjiv Gupta and his management team. It has also stressed that Gupta should not have resigned from his position till the issues were resolved. It's imperative to note that vendors are yet to be paid dues of over Rs 300 crore. Besides about 4,000 employees who were laid off abruptly are yet to receive their compensation or severance package.


AENL has alleged that Gupta and his management team at AskMe never met operational and financial targets even as they committed to business key performance indicators (KPIs).


"As a foreign investor, we would like to work with the court appointed authorities to understand how Sanjiv Gupta and his management team at Getit deployed the USD 300 million, and vendors were still not paid dues. In particular, as a so-called professional and resident CEO, it was incumbent that Sanjiv not resign and ensure the affairs of the company were resolved. Instead, there has been a failure by Sanjiv to do so," AENL said in an email to Moneycontrol.


In response, Gupta's spokesperson refrained from making any comment on Gupta's decision to resign however said that the court directed an investigation, after Gupta made an application for initiating an SFIO investigation.


"Sanjiv Gupta submitted a written application to the court requesting for an SFIO investigation into the affairs of Getit on February 2. The application is a matter of records of the court," the spokesperson said.


Even as the matter is sub-judice, the status of jobs or pending compensation around 4,000 employees is at stake.

Astro has categorically declined that it will be willing to make any further investment into the entity.

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