The members of the famed YouTube channel, ‘The Viral Fever’ are reportedly in a heated legal battle involving Founder Arunabh Kumar, and his ex-colleague, Prashant Raj.
Kumar has been sued in the Bombay High Court by Raj, a fellow alumnus from IIT-Kharagpur who is demanding a 4% equity stake in the company and cash payment for his work with TVF. A judge ruled that Raj is entitled to compensation but not equity, which prompted him to file an appeal.
TVF started in 2011 as a sole proprietorship. Raj joined in 2012 and left TVF in March 2014 after clashing with Kumar. In late 2014, the business was incorporated as ‘TVF Media Labs’.
Raj’s argument is that he joined “pro-bono as a cofounder” and worked without a salary in lieu of equity in the business. Raj says that his claims arise from an oral agreement whose terms were agreed in email exchanges. Raj also claims that the credits for videos he produced are being removed by TVF.
TVF CEO Kumar’s lawyers said that Raj was an early employee and that he wasn’t eligible for equity. “The plaintiff is not eligible for any equity in the company as he is not a part of it any more,” said Vinduprakash Pandey, managing partner at Astute Law and counsel for Kumar.
Raj recently appealed against the order. “The computation of the compensation for my client is yet to be decided. We are asking for an equity of 4 per cent in the company, besides the cash compensation,” said Sushrut Desai, legal advisor for Raj.