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Sort it out yourselves, SC tells sparring Lalit Modi, Mukul Rohatgi

Source: PTI
January 27, 2023 17:17 IST
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The Supreme Court on Friday refused to pass any order on a plea alleging that former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi made "scurrilous" remarks against former attorney general and senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi in a social media post.

IMAGE: Lalit Modi. Photograph: PTI Photo

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and M M Sundresh said parties are mature enough not to make such statements and asked the lawyers to sort out the issue.

"It is nothing but extension of outburst of a family member. Don't take it too far. Whenever you start fighting out in public, it is always detrimental...We are not passing orders but you use your good office to ensure that remedial measures are taken," the bench observed orally.

On August 1 last year, the Supreme Court appointed former apex court judge Justice R V Raveendran as a mediator to settle a family property dispute involving the former IPL head and his mother Bina Modi. Rohatgi is one of the counsels representing Bina Modi in the property dispute.


At the outset, senior advocate Kapil Sibal submitted before the bench that there was an undertaking of no posts while mediation was going on.

"Comments are being made while the mediation is going on. These should be taken down. This is a violation of the court orders," Sibal said.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Lalit Modi, said there was no breach of the court order and this was just an angry outburst.

The top court was apprised that the mediation process between the parties was underway.

Lalit Modi had made a comment about Rohatgi in an Instagram post. Later, through another post, he reportedly apologised to the senior advocate.

Before this, Lalit Modi and his mother had told the bench that the apex court-mandated mediation to resolve the long-pending property dispute in the family had failed.

In December 2020, the division bench of the high court held it has the jurisdiction to decide the plea of Bina Modi, wife of the late industrialist K K Modi, challenging Lalit Modi's move to initiate arbitration proceedings in Singapore.

The division bench had set aside the judgement of a single judge of the high court, which said it does not have the jurisdiction to adjudicate the anti-arbitration injunction suits filed by Lalit Modi's mother Bina Modi, his sister Charu and brother Samir and they are open to taking such pleas before the arbitral tribunal in Singapore.

The single judge said an anti-arbitration injunction suit does not lie, so the pleas are not maintainable, and dismissed the matter.

Bina, Charu, and Samir, in two separate suits, contended that there was a trust deed between the family members and K K Modi family trust matters cannot be settled through arbitration in a foreign country according to Indian laws.

They have sought a permanent injunction restraining Lalit Modi from prosecuting or continuing with the application for emergency measures and any arbitration proceedings against them in Singapore.

According to the case, the trust deed was executed in London by K K Modi as settlor/managing trustee and Bina, Lalit, Charu, and Samir as trustees, and in pursuance of an oral family, the settlement was recorded between them on February 10, 2006.

K K Modi died on November 2, 2019. The dispute among the trustees arose after that.

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