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Crucial victory for Birlas in Lodha case

July 01, 2005 18:03 IST
In a crucial victory for Birlas in their legal battle against Rajendra S Lodha for control of the M P Birla group, Calcutta High Court on Friday dismissed a petition seeking quashing of criminal proceedings against him and three others.

Justice P N Sinha dismissed the revision application of S N Prasad, one of the four against whom criminal proceedings was initiated in a lower court by a close associate of the Birlas, Rajinder Pansari.

Observing that there was no merit in the application, the judge ordered that the sub-divisional judicial magistrate of Alipore Court would be free to proceed with the criminal case.

Justice Sinha also observed that there was no reasonable ground for granting stay on the criminal proceedings till disposal of the probate proceedings for the assets of the M P Birla group, estimated at Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion).

The criminal complaint was filed on October 5 last year before the SDJM court against Lodha, Prasad, Dr V Gaurishankar and S K Daga alleging that a fraud was committed on Priyamvada Birla, who, by a purported will, had bequeathed the entire assets of M P Birla group to him.

Prasad, however, moved the High Court for quashing or at least a stay on the proceedings till the disposal of the probate petition of Lodha for legal authentication of Priyamvada's purported will.

The criminal case was moved under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with 406 (criminal breach of trust), 417 and 420 (cheating), 204 (destruction of documents to prevent its production as evidence) of IPC and Section 93(i)(c) (issue of search warrant) against Lodha and others.

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