The Mumbai-headquartered private coaching institute, JK Shah Classes (JKSC) has received a setback in its case against rival coaching institute Ednovate Education Pvt. Ltd (EEPL). On March 25, the Chhattisgarh High Court granted bail to Prof. Dhaval Purohit, one of the seven co-founders of EEPL and former JKSC employee who was arrested in December 2021 after JKSC filed a case against him for defrauding JKSC of Rs.1 crore.
On February 8, EducationWorld broke the story of JKSC using strong-arm tactics to intimidate former employees who quit the institute to promote their own coaching institute – EEPL. JKSC (estb. in 1984 by Prof. Jitendra K Shah) offers tutoring in commerce subjects, chartered accountancy (CA) and company secretaryship (CS) across its 67 branches in the country and one in Dubai. EEPL, established in March 2021 by former JKSC employees, covers the same subjects in its online coaching classes.
JKSC alleged that between January 2019 and November 2020 Prof. Purohit in his capacity as the Raipur branch head along with the Raipur local agent, Abhinandan Bafna collected fees in cash from students. However, none of the money was deposited with the JKSC head office as was required and nor were students given fee receipts.
JKSC claims it learnt about the embezzlement after it conducted a financial audit. By that time Purohit had already quit JKSC. While Abhinandan Bafna was arrested by the police in October 2021, Purohit was arrested in December. On March 25, the Court deemed it “a fit case to release” both the applicants on bail.
Granting the bail application, the Court observed “there seems to be some business rivalry between the complainant (J. K. Shah) and particularly applicant Dhaval Purohit. The judge also took note, “…he (Dhaval Purohit) has not been named in the written complaint/ first information report (FIR). It is not the allegation upon him that he has received any amount in his account from the students of Raipur branch.”
Purohit consistently denies any wrongdoing claiming his role at the Raipur branch did not involve collecting student fees. According to him, the false allegations and arrests etc. are all part of Jitendra Shah, JKSC managing director’s strong-arm tactics to intimidate him and Ednovate’s other co-founders for quitting the institute and promoting their own coaching institute.
“Prof. Shah has purposefully implicated us in false and frivolous cases, spreading wrong rumours amongst students and even defaming us in the media,” says Purohit.
In September 2020, Purohit was one amongst the eight professors who quit JKSC after being forced to accept a massive drop in their salaries during the lockdown period. In the absence of physical classes, students’ lectures consisted of pre-recorded videos created by the faculty. Thus JKSC which otherwise pays teachers by the hour was disinclined to make payments to teachers.
Purohit and his colleagues went on to set up Ednovate Education Pvt. Ltd. in March 2021 after a mutually agreed cooling period of four months. However, according to Purohit, Ednovate’s quick rise to fame that saw it garner 2,500 students within a short span of 11 months “annoyed” Jitendra Shah.
“JKSC follows a dictatorial style with the faculty working for 12 hours, seven days a week under extremely stringent rules for holidays etc. Interaction with students to clear doubts is restricted to just one subject teacher. At Ednovate, we always ensure we are there for our students which makes us popular,” adds Purohit.
JKSC fines its faculty amounts ranging from Rs.5000-50,000 for finishing lectures early or beginning late. It also has a strict dress code and requires faculty to take official permission for 10-minute tea breaks.
A popular coach for chartered accountancy courses, Purohit, who is a viral sensation known as the ‘30 ml professor’, is back to taking classes and interacting with students. He is also seeking legal advice to file a defamation case against JKSC.Corporate, News