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Birlas yet to file objections on Lodha's claim

July 29, 2004 22:33 IST

With the Birlas yet to file their objections to their auditor Rajendra S Lodha's claim over M P Birla group, a late claimant to the Rs 5000 crore (Rs 50 billion) pie decided to adopt a wait and watch policy for the time being.

The Birlas, who have already filed six caveats, were yet to submit their objections before the Registrar-in-Insolvency where the disputed will of Priyamvada Birla, widow of M P Birla, has been submitted for legal authentication.

Birla vs Lodha: War over a will

The Birlas have been issued notices in this connection on July 23 and they were given eight days time to submit their objections.

In the meantime, Gita Sanghi, daughter of M P Birla's brother Gajanan Birla, has decided not to jump into the fray immediately but her counsel hinted that she would move her formal claim in this regard after August 25, when the matter would come up for hearing before the Calcutta high court.

"Sanghi is most likely to stake her claim after seeing the outcome of R S Lodha's case for discharge of caveats by four of the Birlas," leading lawyer Promode Khaitan, whom Sanghi is consulting in this matter, told PTI.

Hinting that Sanghi would file her claim to the assets after August 25, he said, "I have been directed by Sanghi not to proceed for the time being and to keep a close watch on the matter."

Sanghi, who is one of the three children from Gajanan Birla's second wife, has begun consultations with Khaitan in this regard since Monday.

Sanghi's sister Anjali Sawhney and the family of her late brother, Madhukar Birla, are also likely to become parties in the case.

Khaitan was once a member of the Khaitan & Company, the solicitor firm, which is representing the Birla family in the case.

Yashovardhan Birla, grandson of Gajanan Birla from his first wife, has already filed a caveat in the case.

Others who have also filed caveats were three senior members of the clan -- Krishna Kumar Birla, Basant Kumar Birla and Ganga Prasad Birla. The two sisters of M P Birla, Lakshmi Bai Newar and Radha Mohta have also filed caveats to ensure their right to file objections to Lodha's probate petition.

Lodha has staked claim over the entire assets of M P Birla group on the basis of a purported will of Priyamvada

Birla, widow of M P Birla, who died on July 3 leaving no direct heir to the company.

Questioning the genuineness of the purported will the Birla family has filed these caveats in the Calcutta high court.

Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta of Calcutta high court had on Wednesday refused to pass any interim order on the petition by Lodha challenging the caveats of four Birla family members namely K K Birla, B K Birla, G P Birla and G P Birla.

The judge directed the two sides -- Lodha and the Birlas --  to file affidavits in support of their respective contentions, which would be taken up on August 25 again.
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