The sons learned that they had been completely disinherited and that Surinder Kanwar's new wife would inherit everything.
Issues have surfaced in the family-held businesses of entrepreneur Raunaq Singh's younger son, Surinder Paul Kanwar, over a family settlement dispute.
For over a decade, Surinder Kanwar and his sons, Sameer Kanwar and Sachit Kanwar, have been managing and operating the listed companies Bharat Gears and Raunaq EPC International.
Last week, Bharat Gears issued a notification to the exchanges, stating that the company had received a memorandum of family settlement from Sameer Kanwar.
However, this memorandum is being disputed by his father (Surinder Kanwar). The matter is sub judice, and the next hearing is scheduled for December 13, 2023.
'...this is to inform you that the company has received from Sameer Kanwar a photocopy of the purported memorandum of family settlement dated April 13, 2012, entered into among family members of Surinder Paul Kanwar, comprising Sameer Kanwar, his brother Sachit Kanwar, his father Surinder Paul Kanwar, and various other unlisted entities as confirming parties,' the notification stated.
Surinder Kanwar, chairman and MD of Bharat Gears, has contested the family settlement, as mentioned in the notification.
However, it also clarified that Bharat Gears is not a party to the case.
Sameer Kanwar serves as the joint MD of Bharat Gears.
Bharat Gears' response is in reference to a case filed by Sachit Kanwar at the Delhi high court.
The case seeks the court's intervention for the effective enforcement of the family settlement that was established in 2012.
The matter is currently undergoing fast-track mediation with a mediator.
A source revealed that the family settlement was forged in 2012 between Surinder Kanwar and his sons.
Based on this settlement, which is disputed by the senior Kanwar, the sons have been actively involved in managing their respective businesses.
This involvement was under the understanding that ownership of the businesses and certain related properties would eventually be transferred at an appropriate time.
"The terms of these transfers are clearly laid out in the family settlement. Some transactions that the sons claim are part of the family settlement have already been carried out," said a source familiar with the situation.
According to sources, trouble began when Surinder Kanwar, who was in his sixties at the time, married British and Canadian citizen Pawania Handa in 2014.
Issues arose between Handa and the sons at a personal level.
Allegedly, Handa's interventions in the different businesses and household establishments deviated from the terms clearly outlined in the settlement.
Over time, the sons discovered that their father had revised the distribution of the family's assets through a new will.
Although the sons were unaware of this new will, they learned that they had been completely disinherited and that Surinder Kanwar's new wife would inherit everything.
With the belief that, under the Indian legal system, a formal family settlement cannot be overridden by a subsequent will, the sons moved court.
They are hopeful that the mediation process will conclude in accordance with the terms outlined in the family settlement.
Sachit Kanwar and Sameer Kanwar declined to comment on the story, citing the ongoing legal proceedings.
Surinder Kanwar did not respond to text messages seeking his comment.
This family had experienced a similar dispute in the past when Omkar Singh Kanwar of Apollo Tyres challenged his father Raunaq Singh.
During that time, son Kanwar was the prevailing party.
Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/Rediff.com