Bribery Charges: High Court Summons HP
According to Financial Express, a former employee of Hewlett Packard (HP) in India has accused the printer OEM of indulging in “corrupt” and “unethical practices” in bribing officials to secure government projects and tenders.
The Delhi High Court issued a summons on July 30, 2020 to information technology major Hewlett Packard India Sales and its California-based parent HP Inc. Justice V Kameswar Rao also issued summons to the company’s former managing director, Sumeer Chandra, who is currently working as a company director at Intel.
Manoj Grover, a former employee of HP India, turned whistleblower alleges he was wrongfully terminated in June of 2020 and was also harassed by the company. Grover has alleged that payment of millions of dollars was made to government officials in kickbacks.
“HP India was even actively attempting to influence the award of government projects and tenders, and there were rampant attempts by senior executives to influence various projects such as the National Registry of Citizenship, regarding the supply of HP toners, and contracts with the ministry of defence, etc. The plaintiff was also shocked to learn of the malpractices, corrupt and collusive conduct orchestrated by HP India on the government e-market (GeM) in an attempt to achieve a situation whereby only the HP authorised channel partners would be eligible to quote in the bids and tenders,” Grover said in its petition filed through advocates Tishampati Sen and Riddhi Sancheti.
Granoj also alleged HP India was systematically involved in corrupt, unethical and anti-competitive practices in which “the senior management…would coerce all employees, within the said business vertical, to adhere to. Having acted as the whistleblower and being the one to bring such rampant practices to the awareness of the senior leadership in HP India and to the relevant persons in HP Global, the plaintiff was shocked to see the brazen retaliation that the Plaintiff was being subject to in complete violation of the global HP policies.”
He also alleged that “he was coerced into entering into such transactions by the senior management of HP India.” Grover has sought damages to the tune of Rs 40 crore from HP.
The High Court has ordered all respondents to file their respective replies within four weeks. It also posted the matter for further hearing on September 21, 2020.
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