Sunday, May 26

ShopClues Founder Aggarwal Files Defamation Case Against Wife, Co-founder Over Role Downplay

NEW DELHI: ShopClues co-founder Sandeep Aggarwal today said he has filed a criminal defamation case against other co-founders — Sanjay Sethi and estranged wife, Radhika — in Delhi courts earlier this month alleging them of downplaying his role in creation of the online marketplace.

The statement, issued by Sandeep’s press team, comes a day after he made several allegations against Radhika in a series of Facebook posts.

ShopClues was valued at over USD 1 billion last year. Its investors include GIC Pte Ltd, Tiger Global Managment LLC and Nexus Venture Partners.

Apologising for the emotional outburst on social media and saying such acts will not happen again, the statement said, “Sandeep has been wronged on multiple counts by people he trusted the most. He is deeply hurt and while he stands by each and every word, he regrets having made the emotional outburst and using public media to express it.”

“He lost the love of his life, ShopClues, and hardly gets to see kids and that took a toll on his emotions…while he stands by each and every word, he regrets having the emotional outburst and using public media to express it,” it said.

ShopClues, an online marketplace that is focussed on tier II and III cities, was founded in 2011 by the Aggarwals and Sanjay Sethi. Sandeep handed over the reins of the company to his wife as he was allegedly involved in an insider trading case in the US in 2013. Since then, he had not been actively involved with Shopclues.

When contacted, ShopClues denied any knowledge about the defamation cases filed by Sandeep. “The company is not aware of any of those cases. Officially, we are aware of the two cases FBI and SEC (in the US) have against him – both of which he has pleaded guilty to and he is awaiting sentencing in both of those. Sandeep has been separated from the company since 2013 after his indictment,” a ShopClues spokesperson wrote in an e-mailed reply to PTI.

“Sandeep filed an adultery case in district court of Gurgaon against Sanjay Sethi in December 2016. This case is being actively investigated as part of judicial process. Sandeep also filed a criminal defamation case against Sanjay and Radhika in Delhi courts in March 2017 as they have been lying in press and media and minimise Sandeep’s role in creation of ShopClues,” the statement issued on behalf of Sandeep said.

Radhika, who is currently the chief business officer at ShopClues, said she is shocked by the unfounded and baseless allegations made in Sandeep’s Facebook posts. “I am shocked by unfounded and baseless allegations being made. In the interest of the privacy of my family, I will not be commenting on any personal matters. However, ShopClues was always a team effort and by God’s grace and hard work of a strong team, ShopClues has become a force to reckon with and I want to focus my time and energy to do what I owe to my employees, my investors, my country and myself,” she said.

Sandeep, through Facebook posts had questioned Radhika’s educational and professional credentials and alleged that she had fraudulently taken away his voting rights in the firm. Sandeep is the largest individual shareholder in ShopClues and majority holder of the company’s common shares, Sandeep’s statement said.