New Delhi, July 31: The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued summons to information technology major Hewlett Packard India Sales and its California-based parent HP Inc on the charges of indulging in “corrupt” and “unethical practices” in bribing officials to secure government projects and tenders.

Justice V Kameswar Rao also issued summons to its ex-MD Sumeer Chandra, currently working as company director,in Intel. Summons has also been issued to the chief HR officer, global compliance programme manager, Asia Pacific Japan HR ER/HR compliance, among others, The Financial Express reported.

The HC asked the respondents to file their reply within four weeks to the allegations by whistleblower Manoj Grover, a former employee of HP India. It also posted the matter for further hearing on September 21.

Grover, while claiming wrongful termination of service in June of 2020 and harassment by the company, 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 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.

The whistleblower alleged that 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.

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