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Birlas to move court on receiver for assets

BS Bureau in Kolkata | August 12, 2004 10:58 IST

R S Lodha will be subjected to the rule of four. That is, if the suit filed by four men from the anti-Lodha camp in the Calcutta high court is accepted.

The four are KK Birla, GP Birla, Kashinath Tapuria and Pradeep Kumar Khaitan. They've joined hands to sue Lodha in order to protect the properties and assets left by MP Birla and his wife Priyamvada, in which they will be asking the court to appoint a 'receiver' for the assets and trusts of the MP Birla Estate.

Birla vs Lodha: War over a will

This is for the first time that two Birlas will be aided by two outsiders in a case against RS Lodha. Tapuria is a businessman and PK Khaitan, a lawyer. A plaint to this effect has already been prepared by the lawyers of the Birla group. The proceedings will start in the high court any day now.

Sources said that this will be a suit for injunction, restraining RS Lodha from interfering with the assets and properties of the MP Birla Estate in any manner.

As RS Lodha had already filed a caveat relating to the MP Birla will case, the Birlas have to serve a notice to Lodha before filing the suit. In legalese, the matter cannot be heard ex parte.

The wordings of the suit will contend that MP Birla's properties cannot be left in the hands of a rank outsider like Lodha.

Meanwhile, as directed by Justice KJ Sengupta on July 28 over the petition of RS Lodha seeking the discharge of the caveats filed by KK Birla, BK Birla, GP Birla and Yashovardhan Birla in the Priyamvada Birla will probate case, the four on Wednesday filed four separate affidavits.

Copies of the affidavits were served to Lodha. In the affidavits, the Birlas claimed they had interest in the estate of Priyamvada Birla and had the right to file caveats in the probate case filed by Lodha.

Lodha, in his petition, had argued that those four Birlas were in no way connected to MP Birla's properties and assets, and so their caveats should be discharged.

Disputing the claim of Lodha, the Birlas' affidavits said that by being members of the Birla family, they had the right to file caveats and to contest the probate because the estate of MP Birla could not be managed by a rank outsider like Lodha.

In the affidavits, it was stated that out of six caveats, the filing of only the four were challenged. In effect, the rights of the other two remained unchallenged. Equal right was shared by the four other Birlas.

Lodha filed a petition for the grant of probate of the last will and testament of Priyamvada Birla claiming he was the executor of the will. Factions of the Birla family opposed Lodha's move.

Under the provision of the civil procedure code, there was no provision for challenging a caveat. Therefore, Lodha's petition should be dismissed, the Birla affidavits claimed.

As the copies of the affdavits have been received by Lodha, he would now have to file a reply by August 24. The case will be listed for hearing on August 25.

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