FIR lodged against Oyo Founder Ritesh Aggarwal & Weddingz.in CEO Sandeep Lodha on Chandigarh businessman’s complaint
Oyo Founder Ritesh Aggarwal accused of fraud & criminal conspiracy by a Chandigarh businessman, FIR lodged
Chandigarh, September 14, 2020: An FIR has been registered against Ritesh Aggarwal, Founder & CEO of Oyo Hotels and Homes Pvt. Ltd (OHHPL), India’s well-known hotel chain. The FIR which has been registered on September 11 by the Mohali police, the copy of which is with the complainant also names Sandeep Lodha, CEO of OHHPL’s brand Weddingz.in. The FIR has been lodged against the accused of committing fraud and criminal conspiracy, on basis of a complaint given to SSP Mohali by Chandigarh businessman Vikas Gupta. Gupta in his complaint has alleged that the company’s top management abruptly wriggled out of a business agreement illegally & with criminal intent. It is noteworthy that a business agreement was signed with the victim’s company Vikas Mineral Foods Limited (VMFL) last year in 2019 by OH&HPL. Vikas Gupta informed the media about the case details in an interaction at Chandigarh.
The complaint was marked by SSP, Mohali to SP Rural, Mohali, who conducted a thorough investigation and recommended registration of FIR against the Founder & CEO of OHHPL Founder Ritesh Aggarwal and others.
At the centre of the problem is an agreement signed between Vikas Gupta, who owns a Vikas Mineral Foods Pvt Limited under which he also operates Banquet Hall Casavillaz at Ramgarh-Mubarakpur road, Dera Bassi, Mohali and Oravel Stays Pvt Ltd(OSPL) - the branch under which the Weddingz.in brand conducts the marriage palace business of OHHPL. In his complaint, Vikas Gupta stated that “In June 2019 he came in contact with Virender Pal Bhasin, who was the City Head of OHHPL in Chandigarh. He showed interest in our banquet hall and later an agreement was signed according to which the Weddingz.in team will handle the business in self-operated mode and in return the company agreed to pay us a fixed amount every month.”
Vikas stated that at the time of agreement all the required documents and NOCs’ asked by OHHPL to run his Banquet hall were submitted. The top management including the finance & legal teams of Oyo was satisfied and an agreement was signed. Everything was running smoothly until the coronavirus outbreak restrictions were imposed on gathering in marriages and events.
“Fearing losses, OHHPL, hatched a premeditated conspiracy, and against terms of the signed agreement, sent him a notice dated 16.03.20 to again submit NOCs’ and other documents. They gave me just 15 days to comply whereas according to the agreement 30 +30 days is the notice time to be given in case any party wants to break the agreement if any breach happens and that is not resolved in the given time by them.” Vikas alleged. He was told to submit documents that had already been submitted. To Vikas's utter shock, instead of paying him damages due to the illegal breaking of the agreement, another notice was sent to him that slapped an over Rs 5 crore (approximately) penalty on him, as part of a criminal conspiracy to make huge & easy money through pressure tactics.
Vikas underlined that in the notices sent to him most were unsigned so these have no legal sanctity, and OHHPL also made a false allegation that VMFL didn’t provide them all documents, in fact, all documentary aspects were completed at the initial stage at the time of Agreement and it was because of full compliance that the agreement came into fruition and VMFL started getting paid. Interestingly, VMFL was served a forged termination notice on 22.4.2020 under conspiracy in which a mention of a letter/ or notice dated 30-03-2020 was made, but no such letter or notice dated 30.3.2020 was ever received by VMFL as alleged by OHHPL from which their deliberate conspiracy is revealed. “Also, Virender Pal Bhasin twice e-mailed on 25-03-2020 stating that all the documents were submitted by me. And these were re-submitted by him for the second time on 26-03-2020. Later, Virender Pal Bhasin's, who had become Punjab Head (Weddingz.in), e-mail, was shut down for destroying evidence under the conspiracy.” Vikas added.
He further added that despite terminating the agreement in a one-sided way and in a manner which smacks of ‘criminal intent’, his marriage palace’s name is still being used and innocent people are being cheated of money by booking marriages and there is proof that weddings have been booked till Dec 2020 and he is being made a scapegoat in the whole modus operandi.