Valli Arunachalam, who has taken Murugappa Group family members to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for denying her representation in holding company Ambadi Investments (AIL), on Thursday told the Chennai bench of the tribunal that applications filed against her suit on behalf of the group family members citing technical errors are delaying tactics to keep her out.
Pinky Anand, counsel for Valli Arunachalam — the daughter of Murugappa Group’s late executive chairman MV Murugappan — alleged serious oppression and mismanagement on the part of Murugappa family members, saying they have suppressed minority shareholders and kept Valli away from AIL, resorting to gender discrimination.
She said there is no error in the waiver application since notary rules have been relaxed during the pandemic, and even if the tribunal considers that there is an error, it can be rectified by filing a fresh affidavit and stamp paper as required. The family members have filed around 10 applications seeking rejection of waiver application, furnishing of the register of stamps and notaries’ register, and enlargement of the time.
Valli, her sister and their mother, MV Valli Murugappan, have moved the Chennai bench of NCLT seeking waiver of the minimum 10% shareholding required to ensure the alleged oppression and mismanagement case against AIL is maintainable. They have also sought board representation or alternatively for its 8.21% stake in AIL to be bought out.
Aryama Sundaram, representing the family members, said their main argument is that the date of affidavit and the date of stamp paper for verification are different. He said their applications need to be heard first, prior to listening to the waiver matter.
PS Raman, counsel for Valli Arunachalam, said there is no gross error on part of the petitioners for which the waiver application needs to be dismissed. The tribunal can either dismiss/ reject the waiver application directly, dismiss it as withdrawn with liberty to petitioners to file a fresh petition with correct documents, or allow the petitioner to refile a corrected affidavit and stamp paper if found defective.
The NCLT has posted the matter four further hearing on August 9, directing both the parties to complete pleadings on the set of applications by July 31.