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SRGR sends cops to FoxMandal offices with FIR, counters Fox’ December FIR

SRGR co-founders Gupta, Jha, Bishnoi (l. to r.)
SRGR co-founders Gupta, Jha, Bishnoi (l. to r.)
Exclusive: SRGR Law Offices have filed a first information report (FIR) against Fox Mandal, whose offices were investigated by police today, alleging that Fox’s December 2011 FIR was mala fide and that FoxMandal had supplied false information to police officers and public servants.

“We have a very strong case against the accused,” claimed SRGR co-founding partner Ravi Bishnoi, who started up SRGR with three other former FoxMandal partners in December 2009.

“It’s unfortunate that we had to proceed against them but there was no way out.”

The FIR dated 16 February 2012, a copy of which Legally India has seen, was a complaint against FoxMandal managing partner Som Mandal, partners Sangeeta Mandal and Dinabandhu Mandal and the firm’s IT officer Binod Kumar, and alleges “cheating, defrauding, committing criminal breach of trust, impersonation, false information to police offices and public servant”, “misuse of electronic identiy of other persons, criminal intimidation and trespassing” (sic).

Som Mandal commented via email: “Indeed, SRGR has filed an FIR against us as a counter blast alleging Data theft etc.”

“Police has come to investigate,” he added. “There is no raid.”

SRGR’s FIR alleged that the December FIR by FoxMandal was not legitimate: “The said FIR has been filed by som mandal with mala fide intent and the [same is] nothing but an attempt by them to put undue and illegal pressure on us to [withdraw] our respective legitimate suits for recovery which are pending before the hon’ble delhi high court.” (sic)

The FIR continued: “We are shocked to know that som mandal and fox mandal & co. are still [using] email addresses in our names on the servers of fox mandal & co. even though we had left the firm more than 2 years ago. This fact not only clearly establishes the mala fides of som mandal and others ....” (sic)

SRGR is claiming violation of sections 182, 406, 420, 425, 426, 409, 468, 471, 477-A, 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections 65, 66, 72, 85 of the Information Technology (IT) Act.

Bishnoi has a pending Rs 79.4 lakh ($174,000) debt recovery suit against FoxMandal, as reported by Legally India in May 2011, while SRGR co-founding partner Saroj Jha has claimed for recovery of Rs 1.81 crore, and co-founding partner Rajan Gupta claimed for Rs 66.9 lakh.

The December FIR by Fox v SRGR

The original December 2011 FIR by FoxMandal, a copy of which is with Legally India, alleged that SRGR partners used their FoxMandal email IDs to solicit work from clients, and alleged the theft of over 100 hard copy precedents and 3,000 “visiting cards of different clients and contact persons which are the property of the firm”.

The Fox FIR requested the police to register cases of impersonation, theft, cheating, criminal breach of trust, forgery for cheating under section 419, 420, 406, 409, 464, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code, and sections 65 and 66 of the IT Act, resulting in a raid on SRGR’s office.

It includes affidavits from two FoxMandal secretaries that the SRGR partners never deposited clients’ visiting cards with their respective secretaries.

FoxMandal’s IT head also swore that the SRGR partners returned FoxMandal’s laptops and Blackberry mobile phones wiped of all data.

The FIR also attached as evidence a number of emails from clients that appeared to have been ‘CC’ copied to SRGR partners’ former email addresses @foxmandallittle.com in 2011. In one apparent work email of August 2011, it appeared that Bishnoi from his SRGR email address had copied in his former email address at the foxmandallittle.com domain.

Another attachment to the FIR was an emailed package shipment confirmation sent from Kingfisher Airlines’ King Club to Rajan Gupta’s former address @foxmandallittle.com in May 2011.

Earlier this month the Delhi office of FoxMandal separated from Mumbai firm Little & Co. In December Legally India had documented the break-up in an in-depth feature in Mint.

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