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1-min read

Sonia Dhawan, Accused in Extortion Bid Against Paytm Founder, Rejoins Company

Dhawan, who spent about five months in jail with her husband Rupak Jain, was back in the company earlier this week, sources said. She was granted bail by the Allahabad high court earlier this month.

News18.com

Updated:March 29, 2019, 8:23 PM IST
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New Delhi: Former Paytm executive Sonia Dhawan, who was one of the prime accused in an extortion bid against the SoftBank-backed company’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, has re-joined the company in a surprising turn of events.

Dhawan, who spent about five months in jail with her husband Rupak Jain, was back in the company earlier this week, sources said. She was granted bail by the Allahabad high court earlier this month.

The arrest of Dhawan, the former VP of communications and public relations at the company, had sent ripples across the corporate world. She had been associated with the company for almost a decade, starting off as a personal assistant to Sharma and rising to become the head of public relations over the years. The developments had also given rise to various conspiracy theories.

Her lawyer had said the promoters of Paytm were pressuring her to sell her stake in the company and she had been framed. “With the kind of accusations which were made initially, there is a lot of contradiction. There was also a statement in the press that the person who called up from Kolkata disclosed her (Sonia Dhawan's) name without even receiving a substantial part of the ransom. So, you can definitely make out that there is more to it than meets the eye," he added.

He also said that Sonia and her husband had received an extortion call of Rs 5 crore on September 22, two days after Sharma received a similar call. "There was an extortion call for Rs 5 crore. The caller threatened to harm the family if the demand wasn't met," revealed Tripathi.

According to data shared by PaperVc with Moneycontrol, Dhawan had employee stock option plans (ESOPs) to the tune of 0.004 per cent in One97 Communications and 0.02 percent in Paytm E-commerce Pvt Ltd, the two companies held under the group. The cumulative value of the shares as per Paytm's then valuation stood around Rs 3.2 crore. She was expected to have more ESOPs in other group entities.

Dhawan’s family members too had said she was being implicated.

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