The Bombay High Court on Wednesday pulled up Madhupati Singhania, the estranged son of Vijaypat Singhania, in connection with the misleading portrayal of his financial condition in the court. The court was hearing a case filed by Vijaypat Singhania’s Singapore-based grandchildren who have challenged a 1998 settlement agreement between Singhania, chairman emeritus and owner of the Raymond Group, and his son Madhupati Singhania.
“Do you think we live in a different universe? Don’t tell me how difficult it has been for you (Madhupati Singhania) financially. Let me tell you about Mantra, the $450,000 yacht parked at Marina Bay in Singapore (owned by Madhupati Singhania), and another yacht which he wants to buy for $1.3 million. You are firing a salvo from the shoulders of your children,” said justice Gautam Patel to Madhupati Singhania’s lawyer.
The four grandchildren — Raivathari, Tarini, Rasaalika and Ananya — in their plea have asked the court to direct all concerned parties not to deal with the properties and wealth mentioned in the 1998 agreement till it decides on the case. They are being represented by Sharmila U Deshmukh. According to that agreement, Madhupati and his family relinquished their share of wealth and property. The grandchildren have now alleged that the settlement agreement ignored their rights as minors, a claim which has been disputed by Vijaypat Singhania.
Virag Tulzapurkar, senior counsel representing Vijaypat Singhania, on Wednesday argued that while the grandchildren have challenged the 1998 agreement, they have not challenged the benefits that were given to them as a part of the agreement. “The court should take note of the conduct of the plaintiffs,” said Tulzapurkar.
Deskhmukh said Madhupati Singhania did not have the right to gift away the undivided family property to his father on behalf of his minor children. The high court then asked Deshmukh to produce evidence to prove that the disputed property was ancestral and not acquired by Vijaypat Singhania separately. “Show me that the property that you are talking about is ancestral. You wake up at a late stage and then ask me to presume it is ancestral property,” said justice Patel.
The high court on Wednesday reserved its order in the case but did not announce a date for pronouncement of its verdict.
Earlier on February 9, Vijaypat Singhania transferred 37.17% stake in Raymond Ltd to his younger son Gautam Singhania as a gift through 24,290 equity shares of JK Investor (Bombay) and 9,996 equity shares of Smart Investment, two promoter group companies.