A startling discovery has been made today (October 18, 2019) revealing the abominable scam committed by Network 18 through its subsidiary company HomeShop 18. The scam involved a whopping amount over Rs. 150 crore.
How did the scam happen?
HomeShop18 is an Indian online and on-air shopping channel which was owned by the Network 18 Group division of Reliance Industries till June 6, 2019. Thereafter, the ownership of the company was shifted to Sky Blue Buildwell Pvt. Ltd., a subsidiary company of Infotel Broad Band.
It was alleged by the vendors of the HomeShop 18 that the company has engulfed their payments amounting to over Rs 150 crore.
Girish Gupta, a vendor of HomeShop 18, talking to LawStreet Journal reporter said that “HomeShop 18 advertises the products of the vendors and supply it all over India. They work on commission basis, they cut their commission and pay the vendors. Trusting the big ventures like Reliance and Network 18, we have invested everything on HomeShop 18. My Rs 2.7 crore is stuck with the company.”
Mr. Gupta revealed that Network 18 acting in the capacity of collection agent on behalf of the vendors has engulfed all the money which it has received and now they are denying to pay them.
He disclosed that day after day the company is changing their CEOs and CFOs. When the ownership of the company was shifted to Sky Blue Buildwell Pvt. Ltd., that time the director of the company was Ankit Lunia and Akhilesh Tripathi. After a few days, the directors were changed to Surinder Lunia and Sunil Batra. Again for the third time, the directors of the company were changed to Ripal Ben and Sujeta Ben (allegedly a house wife).
The company is avoiding the vendors’ payment by making them run from pillar to post alleged Mr. Gupta. “The company asks us to approach the old management, however, when we approach the old management they ask us to talk to the new management,” Mr. Gupta said.
What is going on?
The vendors have complained to SSP Surajpur Noida, EOW Mandir Marg and have written to Prime Minister office, Finance Minister, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) and President of India alleging an offence under Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
To seek their rightful payments, the vendors along with their respective employees to whom they are unable to pay are staging a dharna since October 10, 2019, outside the Network 18 office situated at Film City, Sector 16, Noida. They even staged a dharna at Jantar Mantar. However, despite of numerous efforts their plight is falling on deaf ears.
Ironically, the dharna staged at Filmcity, Noida - the hub of mainstream media offices has surprisingly not gotten enough media coverage ! Have all the big shot media houses turned a blind eye to this giant scam ? Is there more to this scam than what meets the eye ?