InterGlobe Aviation promoter Rahul Bhatia.ramesh pathania/mint
InterGlobe Aviation promoter Rahul Bhatia.ramesh pathania/mint

Bhatia files lawsuit against Gangwal in US courts

  • The latest development comes a fortnight after IndiGo told its shareholders that Bhatia had submitted an arbitration request against Rakesh Gangwal Group
  • The documents could be used during the arbitration to bolster Bhatia’s case with respect to the alleged breach of the SHA

The battle between the promoters of InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, which operates India’s largest airline, has reached US shores with Rahul Bhatia-led InterGlobe Enterprises (IGE) filing a lawsuit in Florida and Maryland courts to seek information from co-founder Rakesh Gangwal and independent director Anupam Khanna, according to two people aware of the matter.

The latest development comes a fortnight after IndiGo told its shareholders that Bhatia had submitted an arbitration request against Rakesh Gangwal Group (RG Group), which comprises Gangwal, the Chinkerpoo Family Trust and Shobha Gangwal, before the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA).

“The cases in the US courts are related to IGE Group seeking production of documents (from Gangwal) pertaining to the period prior to the shareholders’ agreement (SHA), among other things," said one of the two people, requesting anonymity.

The documents could be used during the arbitration to bolster Bhatia’s case with respect to the alleged breach of the SHA, the person added.

The shareholders’ agreement signed in April 2015 expires in November.

While Bhatia and IGE did not respond to emails and messages seeking information, Gangwal declined to comment.

Law news website, law360.com, on Wednesday reported that Gangwal is believed to possess discoverable information relevant to the claims that form the subject matter of the LCIA arbitration, citing Bhatia’s Florida suit that was filed on that day.

“Specifically, the requested documents and information relate to events, time periods and relationships which members of the RG Group exploited to mount their campaign to dilute the critical controlling rights of InterGlobe Enterprises and the Bhatias," the report added quoting the suit.

In July, Gangwal had first complained to the Securities and Exchange Board of India that Bhatia’s IGE group’s outsized rights have helped it push through transactions and policy changes that violate corporate governance rules.

Bhatia has denied the allegations.

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