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ED Seeks Look Out Circular Against BYJU’S Founder Byju Raveendran

The ED seeks a Look Out Circular against BYJU’S founder Byju Raveendran amidst ongoing investigations, highlighting regulatory scrutiny and governance concerns. Legal battles and operational challenges underscore the edtech giant’s turbulent journey.

Enforcement Action:

The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has requested the issuance of a Look Out Circular (LOC) against Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO of BYJU’S, as part of its investigation into alleged violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). The LOC aims to prevent Raveendran from leaving the country amid ongoing probes.

ED's Concerns:

The ED's Bengaluru office, spearheading the investigation, deems it necessary to restrict Raveendran's movement to ensure his presence in the country for further inquiries. While an LOC 'on intimation' was initiated earlier, the current request seeks tighter restrictions on Raveendran's travel.

Travel Patterns:

Raveendran has reportedly been shuttling between Delhi and Dubai over the past three years, with recent visits to Bengaluru and Delhi. Despite confirming his current presence in Dubai, plans for travel to Singapore loom, raising concerns over potential evasion of investigative measures.

EGM Turmoil:

The move comes amidst escalating tensions within BYJU’S, with investors calling for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to remove Raveendran and other key figures from the company's board. However, the Karnataka High Court has intervened, delaying any decisions from the EGM pending further legal proceedings.

Operational Challenges:

BYJU’S continues to grapple with a myriad of challenges, including layoffs, debt concerns, and financial reporting delays. The company's staggering net losses in FY22 underscore the urgency to address governance issues and restore investor confidence.

As regulatory scrutiny intensifies and internal strife mounts, BYJU’S faces a critical juncture in its journey. The outcome of ongoing investigations and legal battles will significantly shape the company's trajectory and long-term viability in the fiercely competitive edtech landscape.

Path Ahead:

With the specter of regulatory action looming large, BYJU’S must navigate a complex web of legal and operational challenges. Transparent governance, regulatory compliance, and decisive leadership will be instrumental in charting a course for sustainable growth and stakeholder trust restoration.