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Birla estate: Lodha appeal upheld
October, 13th 2007
Order appointing 4 administrators set aside by HC

A Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court comprising Mr Justice P.C. Ghose and Mr Justice T.K. Dutt has set aside the order of the trial court which appointed four administrators over the estate of M.P. Birla.

The Bench, while allowing the appeals filed by R.S. Lodha, the sole executor of the last Will of late Priyamvada Devi Birla, wife of late M.P. Birla, however, restrained R.S. Lodha from disposing of and/or transferring the assets of M.P. Birla estate.

The court directed Mr Lodha to furnish statement of dividend to all the contesting parties.

He was further directed to keep the dividend amount in a separate bank account. Mr Lodha was also restrained from using the funds of M.P. Birla Estate except that which is required for preservation of the estate.

The Bench, in its 155 pages order, observed that in view of the undertaking given by counsel of Lodha before the Trial Court, there is no necessity to look after the estate of M.P. Birla.

On May 19, 2006, the Trial Court had passed the order with regard to appointment of four administrators over the M.P. Birla estate, and on the same day Mr Lodha moved an appeal and obtained an interim stay of the order.

The Appeal Court today finally set aside the Trial Court order.

After the demise of Priyamvada Birla on July 2004, the four Birlas, namely, Mr G.P. Birla, Mr K.K. Birla, Mr B.K. Birla and Mr Yashovardhan Birla along with Ms Laxmi Newar and Ms Radha Mohta, the two sisters of M.P. Birla, filed application for appointment of administrators over the estate of M.P. Birla in the Trial Court.

In the mean time, Mr Lodha challenged the caveatable interest of the four Birlas, who filed caveats against Lodhas Probate petition.

The Calcutta High Court held that only G.P. Birla had caveatable interest and not the others.

The Birlas challenged the order in the Supreme Court, where the matter is now being heard.

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