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SC Refuses To Entertain Birla Family Petition Challenging Appointment Of Harsh Vardhan Lodha As Director

Sanya Talwar
12 May 2020 10:37 AM GMT
SC Refuses To Entertain Birla Family Petition Challenging Appointment Of Harsh Vardhan Lodha As Director
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While dismissing pleas challenging the re-instatement of Harsh Vardhan Lodha as Director of the MP Birla Group, the top court on Monday directed the matter to High Court of Calcutta for final determination.

"The learned Single Judge shall decide upon the issue of jurisdiction, together with the applications for interim relief and render a final determination thereof. The learned Single Judge shall endeavour to do so preferably within a period of one month of the receipt of a copy of this order"

- Supreme Court

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud & MR Shah took up the plea challenging order of Calcutta High Court allowing re-instatement of HV Lodha as Director of the MP Birla Group conglomerate.

The Birla Family moved the Supreme Court despite an order by a two-judge division bench of the Calcutta High Court asking the probate court to hear them afresh. However, the HC had allowed group companies Vindhya Telelinks and Birla Cable to reappoint Lodha as a director if the shareholders approve it, and also pay dividends to the shareholders of Birla Corporation and Vindhya Telelinks.

In another victory for the Lodhas, the court had also set aside the August 9, 2019, ruling of a single high court judge who prevented these companies from publishing the voting results of the last AGMs.

The appellant, Arvind Kumar Newar moved the Supreme Court against this order dated May 4, 2020. 

While dismissing the SLP filed by the Birla Family, the bench further noted that it was "not inclined to entertain the Special Leave Petitions under Article 136 of the Constitution of India" 

The bench also clarified that respective companies ofthe conglomerate shall abide by the final order of the Single Judge bench and that shall reflect in their resolutions.

The Birla Family has been in a legal tussle with the Lodha's for control of the Rs. 5000 Crore Birla estate, the genesis of which goes back to 1982 in terms of mutual wills.

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