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Bhai Mohan's will feud heads to court

By Suveen K Sinha in New Delhi
May 06, 2006 13:16 IST

The dispute over the will of Bhai Mohan Singh, founder of Ranbaxy Laboratories, India's largest pharmaceutical company, could be headed for the law courts as his sons gear up to fight over the move for probate.

Analjit Singh, Bhai Mohan's Singh's youngest son, who is the biggest beneficiary of the will, is going to file for probate, which is a copy of the will certified under the seal of a court of competent jurisdiction.

"Though the will has been contested, we are filing for probate," Analjit Singh told Business Standard.

However, Analjit's elder brother, Bhai Manjit Singh, who has not received anything in the will, is determined to challenge it in court. "If they file for probate, we will get a notice and will challenge it," said Manjit.

Probate of a will, once granted, is conclusive evidence of the validity and due execution of the will and of the capacity of the testator. Incidentally, probate can be granted only to the executor appointed by the will.

Analjit is one of the four executors to the will.

Manjit already has, through his law firm, said the will has not been executed in a valid manner. Even otherwise, he said, Bhai Mohan Singh had "no right to make various bequests to various persons, as has been stated in the said will."

The will has also been contested by Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh, sons of Parvinder Singh, Bhai Mohan Singh's eldest son. Parvinder had died in 1999. The will has bequeathed only small amounts of cash to the two brothers.

The will leaves nothing for Manjit. It talks about Rs 14 crore (RS 140 million) given to him over and above his share as per the family settlement of 1989.

To Analjit, the will gives the rights over some 2,500,000 shares in Ranbaxy, valued at about Rs 125 crore (Rs 1.25 billion) and under litigation. The will directs Analjit to sell the shares in the event of a favourable court verdict and contribute the money to Bhai Mohan Singh Foundation, of which Analjit Singh is the chairman.

He also inherits all the law suits by virtue of being appointed his father's sole legal heir.

Suveen K Sinha in New Delhi
Source: source