Stayzilla co-founder Yogendra Vasupal, popularly known as Yogi, has been granted bail today in Chennai, nearly a month after he was arrested in a manner which provoked protest by India’s biggest tech bosses.
The Madras high court on Tuesday set the bail amount at Rs40 lakh.Judge S Baskaran, while granting bail, termed the case as “purely a dispute between two businessmen.”
Sharad Sharma, an angel investor and co-founder of product software think-tank iSpirt, said the development was heartening but the fallout of the case would become apparent only with time.
“This was essentially an invoice dispute. Stayzilla had offered arbitration but the other side chose to intimidate. Yogi (Vasupal) was not willing to be intimidated. Now, if this case is disposed of in a way people who did that intimidation learn that those methods won’t work, then fewer people will take that route,”
In March, Vasupal was abruptly taken into custody by local authorities after Jigsaw Advertising filed a complaint against the founders of the now-defunct online homestay venture, causing widespread outcry in the Indian start-up ecosystem against the arrest, with prominent investors, founders and other stakeholders in the community rallying around Vasupal.
While denying him bail on two earlier occasions, the court factored in the allegations by the police of evidence that he threatened the ad agency to drop its case against him.
Yogi Vasupal’s wife, after his arrest, published a blog by him in which he alleged harassment by the advertising agency and said it was using political influence to target him.
“I would like to announce today that we would be bringing to a halt the operations of Stayzilla in its current form, and looking to reboot it with a different business model. This has been one of the toughest decisions that I have taken so far but it is the right thing to do,”
Vasupal had said in a Medium post on 23 February.