The ongoing tussle between MAM Ramaswamy, founder and promoter of the multi-billion-dollar Chettinad Group, and his adopted son MAMR Muthiah to gain control of the business empire took a fresh turn on Tuesday with the father declaring that there was no question of any rapprochement with his son. He also said he had decided to “disown” his adopted son.
At a crowded press conference, the octogenarian also announced the formation of two trusts — MAM Ramaswamy Chettiar of Chettinad Charitable Trust and MAM Ramaswamy Chettiar Trust —and has written and registered a will which will ensure that all assets left at the time of his death go to the trusts and not to Muthiah or anyone claiming it on his behalf.
He also made it clear that his adopted son should not perform any ceremony when he dies.
“I disown him and do not wish to call him my son. Whatever the law may be, he is no more my son. According to me he can be called only S Ayyappan (his name before adoption) and not MAMR Muthiah. I have been tormented by him and made to suffer hardships at his instance. There is no relation between him and me. You have heard about blood is thicker than water. That is how he will be to me forever. I have decided not to give him even a rupee,” Ramaswamy said.
Ramaswamy said that the Chettinad palace is owned by trusts. Muthiah has no right to gain entry into this place and he needs to vacate his office (a small place within the palace). “I don’t want to see him anymore as he is trying to usurp this property too in an illegal manner. In order to safeguard my assets and to run the group forever smoothly and traditionally, I have recently formed two trusts and in turn transferred certain properties and assets into these trusts. All my personal assets, investments, shares, post my death, would also be transferred to these trusts. The trusts would be run by trustees, including AC Muthiah, my cousin brother and former SPIC chairman, among others. The trusts would, hence, own and cover assets worth over R10,000 crore from a number of entities across the country,” Ramaswamy pointed out.
The family feud in the Rs 10,000 crore Chettinad Group came to the fore recently after Ramaswamy was not elected as a Director in the AGM of Chettinad Cement Corporation, the group’s flagship company, last year. It turned ugly on May 23 at the Chettinad Palace spread across 125 acre land in posh MRC Nagar here when fourteen alleged henchmen of an assistant of Ramaswamy were arrested for locking a room of Muthiah. In a bid to reach out to his father, Muthiah said he was ready to resolve differences with him.