BYD Distributors' legal battle in Nepal

BYD Distributors’ legal battle escalates: Personal disputes and business strategies unfold in Nepal

Pandit calls for a cessation of the company's activities related to BYD and restrictions on buying and selling until the legal matters are resolved
BYD Distributors' legal battle escalates: Personal disputes and business strategies unfold in Nepal

KATHMANDU: A contentious issue has emerged within the realm of BYD, a prominent Chinese electric car manufacturer, in Nepal, creating a legal battle between the official distributors. The conflict centers on the import of electric cars, initially managed by two companies, which has now escalated into a multifaceted dispute encompassing personal issues and legal actions.

The origin of the dispute lies in the decision of Cimex Inc Pvt Ltd, an official importer through Surya Goods Suppliers, to independently handle the import of BYD electric cars. This shift in strategy triggered internal conflicts and eventually led to a legal showdown between the involved parties.

Yamuna Shrestha took the initiative by filing a case against Bishal Pandit in the Patan High Court. In response, Bishal Pandit has countered with claims involving two additional individuals, further complicating the legal proceedings. These cases, dating back to 2022, have become entangled in the legal intricacies of the High Court.

The conflict, which started as a business disagreement, expanded into personal disputes, deviating from professional boundaries. Legal actions ensued, highlighting the severity of the disagreements between the two business entities. Shrestha’s case emphasizes her demand for the removal of Bishal Pandit from Surya Goods, asserting her exclusive rights within the business.

The legal battle, initiated in 2022, has gained momentum in the High Court in Patan. The court has actively intervened by issuing interim orders and summoning both parties for hearings. The proceedings have been marked by numerous twists, prompting the court to investigate the reasons behind Cimex Inc’s decision to pursue independent imports and the ensuing internal conflicts.

Notably, the court’s involvement became more pronounced when the defendants initially failed to appear for a hearing on August 5, 2022. Subsequently, on August 7, the bench, comprising Justices Janak Pandey and Dipendra Bahadur Bam, issued orders for an interim investigation, coupled with a detailed examination of the underlying causes of the dispute.

As the legal saga unfolds, critical questions arise regarding business ethics, contractual obligations, and the management of internal conflicts within companies. The court’s active intervention underscores the gravity of the matter, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive resolution that ensures fair treatment for all parties involved.

This complex case sheds light on the challenges faced by businesses operating in Nepal and highlights the pivotal role of the legal system in safeguarding their interests and ensuring justice.

Bishal Pandit accuses company’s mismanagement

Bishal Pandit, a business partner associated with Surya Goods Suppliers, has initiated legal proceedings against the company. His lawsuit seeks compensation for damages incurred and requests the court’s intervention to manage the company in accordance with mutually agreed-upon terms.

This legal action follows an interim order issued by the High Court in Patan on July 14, 2022, against Yamuna Shrestha, who had previously filed a case against Bishal Pandit.

In his counterclaim, Bishal Pandit alleges multiple violations under the Company Act of 2063 BS, specifically referencing sections 104, 139, 140, 145, 159, 160, 161, and 163. He argues that, despite the agreed-upon terms, Surya Goods Suppliers has not been operating properly, raising serious allegations of injustice.

According to company registration details, Bishal Pandit became a business partner in Surya Goods Suppliers on September 18, 2012. Problems arose soon after, as both parties initially invested 5,000 shares each, maintaining a 50/50 ownership agreement. However, disputes intensified in 2017 when the company allegedly violated the terms of their agreement.

The primary focus of their agreement was the import of electric vehicles for the BYD brand, involving a significant investment of NPR 1.5 billion. Despite the substantial investment, Pandit claims that the agreed-upon business plan was not executed, resulting in financial losses for him. He asserts that, despite holding the position of chairman, he was not actively involved in decision-making, and financial responsibilities were neglected.

Yamuna Shrestha counters these allegations, accusing Pandit of breaching the agreement by not conducting business through Cimex Inc, as initially intended. She contends that collaborative efforts were met with resistance, leading to Pandit’s removal from operational activities. Shrestha argues that the decision to purchase BYD electric cars through another company was based on the inefficiency of working with Pandit.

The legal battle between the two parties sheds light on challenges in business partnerships, emphasizing the importance of clear agreements and effective conflict resolution mechanisms in the corporate sector.

Bishal Pandit Initiates Legal Action against Yamuna Shrestha

Bishal Pandit has filed a lawsuit against Yamuna Shrestha, alleging damages and seeking redress for activities that violate the rights of the majority shareholder, in accordance with the provisions of the Company Act of 2006. On August 14, 2022, Pandit appeared in the High Court to claim compensation for the alleged mismanagement.

Based on their prior agreement, Bishal Pandit acquired a 50% stake in the company, effectively becoming a partner in Surya Goods Suppliers. Pandit accuses Shrestha of causing a rift by unilaterally obtaining 50% of the shares and questions the joint signatures on their shared accounts at Nepal Investment Bank, where they both actively conducted business.

Having secured dealership rights for BYD Auto Products, Pandit asserts an investment of NPR 120 million by consistently depositing funds into the joint account at Investment Bank for the purchase of BYD’s electric vehicles. Shrestha disputes this claim, arguing that the vehicles were sold without the necessary agreement and approval.

Pandit additionally accuses Shrestha of unethical conduct, including the sale of company vehicles, receipt of funds from the company’s account, and failure to provide proper records for the sale of BYD electric cars. He calls for a cessation of the company’s activities related to BYD and restrictions on buying and selling until the legal matters are resolved.

Request Not to Allow Import until the Matter is Resolved, Pandit Goes to Court Again

On March 13, 2023, Pandit submitted a fresh petition to the High Court, seeking resolution until the matter is resolved. The case involves his opposition to Simex Inc, a company in which he partners with Yamuna Shrestha and Anil Shrestha (Yamuna Shrestha’s brother and Simex Inc’s partner).

He has specifically objected to the Kupondole branch of Global IME Bank Limited for initiating business transactions without his consent as a company director.

Referring to a previous case, Pandit recounts receiving a registration certificate on July 24, 2018, authorizing the sale of BYD vehicles in Nepal through Surya Goods Suppliers. He alleges that during vehicle sales, Yamuna Shrestha collaborated with Anil Shrestha, bypassing Surya Goods Suppliers.

While they initially registered under Surya Goods Suppliers for BYD import and sales, Pandit claims Shrestha acted against the company’s rights and objectives by colluding with others, causing harm to him.

Pandit, having invested NPR 15 million, accuses Shrestha of acquiring the BYD brand through Simex Inc. Despite this investment, the company became inactive, allegedly orchestrated by Shrestha. Anil Shrestha is also accused of collaborating in actions detrimental to the main company, Surya Goods Suppliers.

When a dispute arose involving BYD vehicles imported through Surya Goods, Anil Shrestha and Yamuna Shrestha registered to import/sell through Simex, bypassing Surya Goods Suppliers. Pandit insists that the issue remains unresolved and demands the suspension of said import/sale and freezing of Simex Inc’s associated accounts until resolution.

Moreover, Pandit claims that Shrestha opened an unauthorized account at Global IME Bank’s Kupondole branch, making the bank a party to the dispute. He contends that Shrestha accuses the bank of involvement in the company’s wrongdoing by compromising annual financial details, leading to a compromised partnership in the bank’s interest.

The ongoing conflict between the two companies has confused consumers, impacting BYD’s expansion plans for service centers and charging infrastructure. Simex Inc, embroiled in the dispute, has shifted its focus to selling vehicles and generating profits.

Both parties have refrained from speaking to the Fiscal Nepal due to the ongoing court case.

Fiscal Nepal |
Tuesday January 9, 2024, 04:25:12 PM |

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