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AskMe tussle: NCLT postpones hearing to Nov 9


The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has postponed till 9 November the hearing on a petition by Sanjiv Gupta, former managing director and CEO of the defunct e-commerce firm AskMe, against the company’s controlling Malaysian shareholder Astro Group.

The hearing was deferred as both Gupta and Astro sought time to respond to the explanations sought by the tribunal earlier. The NCLT had, on 31 August, ordered to maintain status quo on the matter till 17 October.

The Gupta-led management of AskMe, incorporated as Getit Infoservices Pvt. Ltd, had earlier accused Astro of trying to flee the country without paying the closure cost that left the company defunct. Astro, on the other hand, had said it invested close to $300 million in Getit over the past six years and threatened to conduct a forensic audit of its books to find out why the firm did not show any growth.

Vipul Panda, a lawyer representing Gupta, accused Astro of adopting delaying tactics. “Astro did not submit its responses, so we could not submit our rejoinders to them,” he said. Astro Entertainment Network Ltd did not immediately respond to a query.

The NCLT decision on the future of the troubled e-commerce venture is anxiously awaited by about 4,000 employees of the firm who have not been paid salaries for three months amid a months-long slug fest between the investor Astro Group, which holds a 98.5% stake in the e-commerce firm, and Gupta.


With Astro looking at an exit from AskMe, Gupta had made a management buyout offer but the Malaysian investor rejected his proposal saying it was unviable. Subsequently, Astro stopped funding the firm that led to the suspension of operations. This resulted in both sides hurling accusations against each other.

Astro Group, led by Malaysian billionaire T Ananda Krishnan, is an investor in a slew of digital media and internet ventures and telecom businesses in India through Astro Overseas Ltd, Astro Entertainment Network Ltd and affiliate firm Maxis Communication. Krishnan and his top aides are also under investigation for a deal between Maxis and telecom operator Aircel.

Astro has sold its stake in a number of ventures, merged Aircel with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communication and is exiting Getit. It had earlier said that it would leave the defunct-e-commerce venture to a court-administered sale as part of a winding down process.


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Kanchan Pokharkar October 17, 2016 22:33

But what about 4000 employees that serves three months without any payment.
Their families are depends on them, why they are suffer from this problem.
I request to askme group to pay their salaries.

Satyaranjan Biswal October 17, 2016 22:41

I am a employee of Getit Grocery pvt. Ltd., since July ’16 not received salary and facing extreme problems for day to day expenses, house rents and for other unavoidable utility bill payments. Kindly help us to get our dues at earliest possible..

Vijay October 17, 2016 23:45

What is the result regarding salary.. if u need good blessing pay the salary many employees r at home in diwali it’s difficult time for them…. just pay the salary so all the employee will give u blessing…

Vivek Sharma October 18, 2016 22:33

I am a employee of askme.com, since July ’16 not received salary and facing extreme problems for day to day expenses, house rents and for other monthly expenses. Kindly help us to get our dues at earliest possible…
just pay the salary so all the employee will give u blessing…

Abhayaraj patel October 19, 2016 0:09

We are waiting for last 3 to 4 month salary n ur hearing next month of 9th nov. Plz suggest what i should. Otherwise stop ur hearing farji bada.
Sarkar se to kuch ummed kar nahi sakte………

gopalakrishnan October 19, 2016 15:20

The every employee has affected in bad situations…
Ask me or Astro pls understood our situation….

When u r affected in same situation , that’s time u know the employees problems what enough…

Almost 4000 employees sadness reason only for u… Think it…. This is not humanities….

God seeing you….. Don’t forget….

pankaj October 19, 2016 15:57

hi employees atleast you get some salaries from company but what about us the channle partners who are getting double hit from our customer who are asking for refund and also company is not giving our money refund for the so called faked APL products which you offered to us for sale.

Girijesh November 1, 2016 20:24

Hi T Anand and Gupta Ji.. You both are responsible for the situations we all employees and vendor are suffering.. Neither you have done FNF nor provide the experience leeter or relieving letter.. In this case you both are showing absolutism attitude and now it’s feel there is no rights to ask hard earned salary in India although it’s has have NCLT, Labour court, Human rights etc. Are we still slave or not? Now it’s very hard to decide here between dispute of ASTRO & ASKME.