Micromax ex-chairman threatens to drag company to court

Micromax ex-chairman threatens to drag company to court
Mobile handset maker Micromax's former Chairman Sanjay Kapoor, who had been forced out of the job on charges of alleged financial irregularities, is contesting the same and has threatened to sue the firm.

The company in late August had claimed that Kapoor "decided to move on" when it announced his exit.

However, Kapoor, in a damning two-page letter to the company Board, had said his "termination" was timed to deny him stock options (ESOPs).

In the letter dated July 27, Kapoor said the company had on July 10, 2015 informed him of "termination" of his employment with Micromax "on the malicious ground that I have presented for payment and got cleared bills for large amounts towards fuel expenses".

Micromax had formally announced Kapoor's exit on August 1. "I am entitled to ESOPS and other benefits. The valuation of the company has immensely increased due to my efforts. I have successfully got the commitment of huge investment in the company, the fruits of which the company has already started to reap," Kapoor said in the letter.

Kapoor was the first chairman appointed last year by the company, which was founded in 2000.

Repeated attempts to reach Micromax failed to elicit any response while Kapoor said he had said whatever he wanted to say in the letter, copies of which had been submitted to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).

The former Airtel CEO, who had taken over as Micromax Chairman in June last year, was tasked with making the homegrown firm a global brand. Under Kapoor, Micromax maintained its grip in the booming Indian smartphone market.

"It is surprising that no notice was ever issued to me or any explanation was ever called from me and the entire process has been undertaken with the predetermined outcome to terminate my services for a concocted cause," he said.

Kapoor said no bills for fuel were even presented by him. "The company had a direct arrangement with Janta Filling station and the bills were directly received by the company. By no stretch of imagination it can be stated that I have misappropriated any amount as no amounts were paid to me for fuel expenses. There were no cash transactions involved," the letter said.

Kapoor said the most unfortunate part of "predetermined" exercise is that the board has blindly and without any application of mind decided to terminate services of its chairman when the particular item was not even on the agenda.

"I have lost faith and confidence in the board...Needless to say that I would initiate legal action and make claims against the company," he added.

Among the papers filed with MoCA is also a July 6 letter from another director, Mohit Anand Bhatnagar resigning from the company "on instructions of SCI Growth Investments" which he represented on the Board. Bhatnagar, a partner at Sequoia Capital, was a longtime investor in the company.

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