Unclear if ED will probe SRK in BYJU’s case: Sources

Khan was trolled by netizens for promoting Byju’s in 2021 when his son Aryan Khan was arrested in a drugs case.

| Updated: 29 April, 2023 8:11 pm IST
Actor Shah Rukh Khan is the brand ambassador of Byju's.

New Delhi: It is not yet clear if BYJU’s association with actor Shah Rukh Khan and his endorsement will be looked into by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which has launched a mega investigation over funding laws violations, sources in the agency said.

Khan’s association with Byju’s is already under scanner. In October, 2021, the edutech company paused advertisements featuring Khan following the arrest of his son Aryan Khan in a drugs case. Actor Khan had to face backlash on social media for promoting a product made for kids.

Meanwhile, the district consumer disputes redressal commission in Indore, Madhya Pradesh has issued an order against a BYJU’s staffer and Shah Rukh Khan for alleged fraudulent behavior and unfair trade practices based on a complaint by a woman who enrolled in a course to prepare herself for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) exam.

The commission ordered the return of ₹1.08 lakh in fees along with 12% annual interest, ₹5,000 as litigation cost, and ₹50,000 as compensation for financial and mental agony. The commission ordered the local manager of BYJU’s and Khan to pay the amount “jointly and severally” to the complainant.

On Sunday, the ED conducted searches at properties belonging to Byju Raveendran, the founder of BYJU’s, after a complaint was filed alleging violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

The ED’s investigation is related to the FDI of ₹28,000 crore received by BYJU’s from 2011 to 2023 and the alleged transfer of around ₹9,754 crore to various foreign entities in the name of overseas direct investment during the same period.

Moreover, BYJU’s allegedly remitted around ₹944 crore to foreign jurisdictions as advertising and marketing expenses. The company has not prepared its financial statements since the financial year 2020-21 and has not gotten the accounts audited, which is mandatory.

The investigation against BYJU’s was initiated based on various complaints received from private persons, and the ED had issued summonses to the founder and CEO Byju Raveendran.

However, the ED stated that he has remained evasive and never appeared during the investigation.

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