Court-appointed panel to control Birla estate

August 23rd, 2012 - 10:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 23 (IANS) The Calcutta High Court Thursday ordered the vesting of the control of the estate of late Priyamvada Birla with a three-member committee of administrators which it appointed earlier.

“The division bench of Chief Justice J.N. Patel and Justice Soumitra Pal today held that the estate of the deceased (Priyamvada Birla) would vest in the committee of three administrators which it had appointed earlier,” Birla’s counsel N.G. Khaitan told IANS.

“They would have powers of a general administrator and would also represent the estate. They shall exercise all rights and powers pertaining to the estate, including those rights and powers that are inextricably linked to the shares, as were being administered by the deceased,” added Khaitan.

The three administrators - Justice (retd) C.K. Thakkar, A.C. Chakrabarty and M.K. Sharma - were appointed by the court earlier in the year.

The day’s development is significant in a struggle for the control of the Rs.5,000-crore M.P. Birla empire, which was bequeathed by Priyamvada Birla to her chartered accountant R.S. Lodha in 2004, resulting in legal tussle between the Birla and Lodha families.

Both parties are fighting several cases since 2004 when Lodha sought a legal approval on the validity of the will after the demise of Priyamvada. Lodha died in 2008, and his representative took up the reins of the M.P. Birla empire.

Counsel for the Lodhas, Debanjan Mondal, said: “We don’t see any reason to panic over the court’s order today. The administrators have not been given control of the businesses nor have they been asked to run them. They have been just asked to take control of Mrs. Birla estate.”

Mondal told IANS that the Lodhas may not immediately move a higher court in appeal.

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