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Rediff.com  » Business » Lodha entered scene post M P Birla demise

Lodha entered scene post M P Birla demise

February 05, 2005 13:11 IST

Status quo should be maintained in respect of the shareholding of M P Birla group managed by the late Priyamvada Birla, the counsel for the Birla side told the Calcutta High Court on Friday.

Rajendra Singh Lodha entered into the picture of Birla family after the demise of M P Birla by taking advantageof ill health and scant education of Priyamvada Birla, the Birla counsel alleged.

Lodha used the help of the Birla family to become president of FICCI, Shyam Sarkar , counsel for K K Birla, G P Birla, B K Birla and Yashovardhan Birla, said at the hearing of the petition for appointment of administrator over the M P Birla estate.

The case is being heard by Justice K J Sengupta.

Sarkar's statements came after a full-day hearing on Thursday, when Samaraditya Pal, counsel for Lakhsmi Devi Newar, a sister of late M P Birla, said an administrator for the M P Birla estate was needed to prevent an "outsider" like Rajendra Singh Lodha from gaining control of the properties and assets.

The court should pass an order restraining that person.

Pal argued that inspite of objection raised by Birla group, Lodha was acting contrary to the interest of Birla family which had placed other wills.

Pal rejected Lodha's demand that B K Birla be hauled up for contempt of court as he had in a media statement admitted that he is monitoring the criminal proceedings against Lodha.

Pal said initiation of criminal proceedings cannot be a  ground for contempt unless the litigant violated an order of the court.

Pal also said the petition filed by Lodha for rejecting the petition for appointment of admintrator did not allege contempt committed by B K Birla and only alleged multiplicity of proceedings.

S B Mookherjee, counsel for Radha Debi Mohata, another sister of the late M P Birla, said status quo regarding the shares of late Priyamvada Birla was necessary because R S Lodha as co-chairman of Birla Corporation, the flagship company of M P Birla group, did not have any shares in the company.

Birla Corporation through interlocking shares controlled many other companies which constituted the M P Birla group.

Status quo was necessary to prevent Lodha from increasing  his holdings in other companies to consolidate his position in the M P Birla estate, Mookherjee added. The hearing will continue.

BS Bureau in Kolkata
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