MUMBAI: The National Company Law Tribunal on Thursday told Byju’s that it can get its finances audited, if required, to assess whether the company lacks funds to pay salaries to its employees.
While hearing a plea filed by a group of the firm’s employees who are seeking their unpaid dues, the court said that Byju’s is still an operational company and must be generating some revenues to be able to pay salaries.The court said that the startup must either prove its inability to pay or be prepared to face an audit. The remarks were part of the arguments and no final order has been passed on the matter yet. Byju’s declined to comment.
Several of Byju’s employees have still not been paid their full salaries for the months of Feb and March. In an earlier letter to employees, founder and CEO Byju Raveendran had said that the move by a few investors to disable the company from using the funds raised through the rights issue had delayed disbursement of salaries.
In April, Byju’s also initiated fresh layoffs, cutting at least 500 jobs and gave up most of its office spaces. The NCLT, in an interim order in late Feb, ordered the company to keep all the funds raised as part of its $200 million rights issue in a separate escrow account and also restrained it from withdrawing the funds until the disposal of the mismanagement and oppression suit filed by a section of investors against the company’s management. Byju’s investors Prosus, Peak XV Partners, Sofina and General Atlantic have been opposing the rights issue since the outset and are also understood to have challenged the Karnataka high court’s recent move to set aside the NCLT stay on its second rights issue.