kirloskar brothers limited: Kirloskar Family Dispute: SC Seeks Views of Atul Kirloskar, 13 Others on Mediation
- Sanjay Kirloskar, Chairman and Managing Director of KBL
- Supreme Court wants to resolve the dispute through mediation
- On July 27, order was given to maintain status quo in the matter.
Kirloskar Family Dispute: The Kirloskar family is battling with mutual discord and the matter is in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court on Thursday asked industrialist Atul Chandrakant Kirloskar and 13 others, who have been made defendants in an appeal by Kirloskar Brothers Ltd (KBL), to convey their views on the issue of arbitration to settle a family dispute related to property. KBL has challenged the Bombay High Court order directing arbitration in the property case. The top court had on July 27 ordered status quo in the matter and asked the parties involved to explore the possibility of mediation. Sanjay Kirloskar is the Chairman and Managing Director of KBL.
The controversy is that the Sanjay Kirloskar-led Kirloskar Brothers Ltd. (KBL) has alleged that four companies under his brothers Atul and Rahul are trying to snatch away the 130-year legacy of KBL and mislead the public. However, the other side has denied these allegations.
Controversy started with an announcement
In July this year, five companies led by Atul and Rahul Kirloskar had announced to start afresh process for their respective businesses. New brand identities and colors were announced for these companies, as well as a new Kirloskar logo was adopted. At the time of this announcement, it was said that these colors reflect the heritage of the 130 year old name. Objecting to this, KBL wrote a letter to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The letter said that KOEL, KIL, KPCL and KFIL were established in 2009, 1978, 1974 and 1991 respectively and do not have a 130-year-old legacy.
The letter to SEBI claimed that Kirloskar Oil Engines (KOEL), Kirloskar Industries Ltd. (KIL), Kirloskar Pneumatic Company (KPCL) and Kirloskar Ferrous Industries Ltd. (KFIL) has attempted to snatch or suppress the legacy of KBL. Apart from this, he has tried to show the legacy of KBL as his legacy.
The matter reached the Supreme Court like this
The dispute over a family settlement relating to the assets of a century-old Kirloskar Group reached the apex court after Sanjay Kirloskar appealed against the Bombay High Court order. In the appeal, it was contended that the order of the High Court was factually and legally erroneous and the conclusion was reached on the basis of incorrect facts.
In the Supreme Court, a bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hima Kohli took note of the submissions of senior advocates including AM Singhvi and Shyam Divan, appearing for Kirloskar Brothers Ltd., on the issue of arbitration and Atul Chandrakant Kirloskar and Asked the counsel of others to give their views on the matter. The bench was apprised that some parties have agreed to mediation by former Supreme Court judge Indu Malhotra and it was held that all companies, which are not parties to the court proceedings, should also be a part of the mediation.
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When will the exercise of mediation be in vain?
At the beginning of the hearing, Singhvi said that arbitration would be a futile exercise if all companies and individuals were not accountable for the outcome. The top court said that in such a situation, it may have to pass some interim orders as there should be “fairness” and no undue advantage should be taken to any party. Recording the arguments, the bench asked the counsel to take directions on mediation. On November 12, the bench agreed to hear the plea of Kirloskar Brothers Ltd against the Bombay High Court order directing mediation in the property matter. In the past, the apex court had asked the Kirloskar brothers Sanjay and Atul to explore the possibility of mediation to resolve the family dispute related to the property.
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