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Now, peace moves in Reliance group
BS Bureaus in New Delhi/Mumbai/Ahmedabad | November 27, 2004 11:47 IST
Senior industrialists, religious leaders and politicians have swung into action to mediate between the warring Ambani brothers, Mukesh and Anil, even as a Reliance Industries spokesperson on Friday ruled out chances of Mukesh dragging his brother to court.
However, the board of directors of Reliance Industries had not accepted Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Anil Ambani's challenge to the powers given to his elder brother, who is chairman and managing director of the company, at a meeting of the board of directors on July 27, the spokesperson told the Press Trust of India.
"The Reliance board did not accept the points made by Anil. The board finds no case for Mukesh to respond to the note," he was quoted as saying.
"Whatever happens between them, they (Mukesh and Anil) will definitely not drag the matter to court," a senior Reliance executive said.
At the same time, friends of the Ambanis have initiated steps to end the scrap between the brothers. Bajaj Auto Chairman Rahul Bajaj met Mukesh Ambani for an hour-and-a-half on Friday.
"I met Mukesh today for a friendly exchange of views. I wish them all the very best," Bajaj said, although he added the meeting had nothing to do with the ownership issues that have cropped up between the brothers.
"Both brothers are very good friends of mine. I have known Anil for over 20 years now and we are both on the board of the International Business School," he added.
Ramesh Oza, founder of Sandipani Vidyaniketan and Ashram and family 'guru' of the Ambanis, is learnt to have stepped in to bring the feuding brothers together.
Oza, 47, is known to be close to the whole family. While Oza was unavailable for comment, a Sandipani Vidyaniketan official said: "The guru's intention is only to help the family and that process is on."
Murari Bapu, another religious leader, is known to be working towards a patch-up between the brothers.
It has also been learnt that Digvijay Singh, former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, has mounted efforts at bringing Mukesh and Anil Ambani together.
However, the biggest hopes for a truce between the Ambani brothers lie with their mother Kokilaben. "They do not need a mediator so long as their mother is alive," the Reliance executive said.
The Reliance executive said Mukesh Ambani had not appointed legal counsel so far because he was eager to settle the issue out of court.
Though there was talk that Harish Salve, who has represented Reliance Industries on several occasions, had been appointed by Mukesh Ambani on this matter, the leading lawyer denied the rumours to Business Standard. "I do not accept retainership in family matters," he said.