ED issues notice to Byju Raveendran; restricts him from leaving India

However, BYJU's did not comment on the development. Raveendran is currently stated to be in Dubai. Photo/ File.

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has upgraded its Look Out Circular (LC) issued against BJYU's founder and CEO Byju Raveendran in connection with a FEMA probe, seeking to stop him from going abroad.

The earlier alert meant that immigration authorities had to just intimate the agency about his movements through various ports.

Official sources said that the over-a-year-old LC was revised sometime back in light of investors' concerns and ongoing adjudication of a FEMA contravention case against Raveendran and some others. However, BYJU's did not comment on the development. Raveendran is currently stated to be in Dubai.

The ED has asked the Bureau of Immigration to upgrade the LC against Raveendran so that he is not allowed to go abroad from any Indian land, air or land port before the investigating officer (IO) of the case is informed.

Under the new LC, the IO will decide to either stop his foreign travel or allow him to do so after asking some questions and getting assurances, the sources said.

The LC in operation till now against Raveendran only stipulated the immigration authorities to inform the ED about his entry and exit from the country. The agency, in November last year, had slapped a foreign exchange violation show cause notice of more than Rs 9,300 crore against BYJU's and Raveendran.

The federal probe agency spelt out multiple grounds for charging the ed-tech company and its chief promoter including charges of "failing" to submit documents of imports against advance remittances made outside India; failing to realise proceeds of exports made outside India by delayed filing of documents against the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) received into the company, among others.

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday had refused to stay an emergency shareholder meeting called by select investors of Think and Learn Pvt Ltd - the owner of BYJU'S - to oust Raveendran and his family from the leadership in the ed-tech firm.

The court gave an interim relief that any resolution passed at the EGM scheduled on Friday cannot be implemented before the next court hearing.

Select shareholders of BYJU'S have issued an EGM notice to be held on February 23, demanding a change in leadership of the ed-tech firm while alleging several anomalies in their functioning.

Meanwhile, Raveendran issued a letter to shareholders on Wednesday appealing to all investors to participate in the USD 200 million rights issue floated by the company. He later shared that the rights issue has been fully subscribed. 

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