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BW Businessworld

Court Adjourns Singhania Grandchildren's Property Suit

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A suit filed by the grandchildren of Dr Vijaypat Singhania, chairman emeritus of Raymond Ltd, seeking claim on the ancestral property, was today (April 6) adjourned till April 20 by the Bombay High Court to allow all respondents to file their reply affidavits.
Singhania's grandchildren - Ananya (29), Rasaalika (26), Tharini (20) and Raivathari (18) - had filed a suit in the High Court earlier this year challenging the agreement signed on December 30, 1998, between their parents - Madhupati and Anuradha - and Vijaypat Singhania whereby their parents had given up theirs as well as their children's rights over the ancestral properties.
The suit came up for hearing before Justice Gautam Patel today who adjourned it till April 20 granting the respondent parties time to file affidavits.
The court on April 20 will also hear the plaintiffs (grandchildren) on the interim relief sought by them.
The grandchildren had by way of interim relief sought that till the time the court decides finally on the issue, all the concerned parties be directed not to deal with the properties/ shares mentioned in the agreement of 1998.
The grandchildren have made their parents, Dr Singhania and Raymond Ltd as defendants in the suit. They have appointed their maternal grandfather Devkumar Aggarwal, as constituted attorney.
In 1998, Dr Singhania and Madhupati decided to part ways after discord over difference in management styles. As per the agreement, Madhupati settled in Singapore with his family and gave up their share in the family wealth. They also gave up the share of their minor children.
The grandchildren have now challenged the agreement and termed it as prima facie illegal and claimed that they and their parents were treated with utmost discrimination and gross injustice and against the traditions of the Singhania family.
Forcible Relinquishment
According to their suit, the agreement was nothing but a forcible relinquishment deed wherein their parents were compelled to give up everything they owned.
The suit further claims that their parents could not have relinquished their children's share of the property on which they had birth right. As per Hindu law, they are members of a Hindu joint family. Hence, they have a right in the ancestral property by birth and the parents' decision to give away their rights is not binding on them.
Further, the suit claims that their grandfather, Dr Singhania, too did not have a right to sell, or give away their rights in movable and immovable properties while they were minors.
Through their suit, the grandchildren have sought that any such sale, transfer or any other gift made during the time when they were minors should be declared null and void by the High Court.
The siblings have also sought a direction to Dr Singhania and Raymond Ltd to disclose the present status of all the assets on oath that were initially in their name and eventually gifted or given away by their parents under the 1998 agreement.