Kotak Group in a statement on January 9 said that it has placed on record its objections to inappropriate language used by BharatPe co-founder and MD Ashneer Grover against a Group employee.
The statement by the Kotak Group came in response to Moneycontrol's report stating that Grover and wife Madhuri Grover sent a legal notice to Kotak Mahindra Bank's managing director and chief executive officer Uday Kotak and other senior Group executives.
In the notice dated October 30, 2021, Grover accused the bank of failing to secure financing and allocation of shares in an IPO launched by beauty firm Nykaa late last year.
Confirming Moneycontrol's report, Kotak Group's statement said, "This notice was received by us and was replied to appropriately at the time, including placing on record our objections to inappropriate language used by Mr. Grover. Appropriate legal action is being pursued."
"We would like to confirm that there is no breach or violation by the Kotak Group in any manner whatsoever," the statement further read.
After a week of back and forth over the leaked audio call which allegedly had BharatPe's Grover using abusive language and threatening a Kotak employee, the Group has confirmed that Grover used inappropriate language through the statement.
On January 6, Grover had claimed that the viral audio clip was “fake” adding that it was a “scamster” who put it out. The statement by Kotak now raises questions over Grover's claims that the audio clip was fake.
“Folks. Chill. It’s a fake audio by some scamster trying to extort funds (US$ 240K in bitcoins). I refused to buckle. I’ve got more character. And Internet has got enough scamsters,” Grover had tweeted.
Grover subsequently deleted the tweet where he claimed the audio is fake. The audio too has been taken down.
The copy of the notice that has been reviewed by Moneycontrol was sent by Sumit Agarwal, Partner and founder, Regstreet Law Advisors on behalf of Grover and his wife. The notice was also addressed to Oisharya Das, CEO of Kotak Wealth Management, Shanti Ekambaram, Kotak Mahindra Bank's Group President for Consumer Banking and KVS Manian who heads Corporate, Institutional & Investment Banking.
In the notice, Grover and his wife sought damages for the gains they would have made after subscribing to shares worth Rs 500 crore in the company besides Rs 1 lakh towards the cost of the legal notice.
The notice read, "Kotak’s refusal to provide IPO financing to our clients at the eleventh hour has completely crippled our clients’ ability to participate in the Nykaa IPO and deprived them of a business/investment opportunity about which they had informed Kotak more than a month in advance of the launch of the IPO. Had Kotak informed our clients at the very beginning that it would be unable to provide IPO financing for the Nykaa IPO, our clients would have approached other financiers who were ready and willing to provide IPO financing to our clients for this IPO."It further asked Kotak to provide IPO financing to Grover and his clients for the Nykaa IPO and allocate shares of FSN worth Rs 500 crore before the closing of the Nykaa IPO on November 1, 2021. If Kotak failed to do so, the notice said, the Group will be liable to compensate the clients.