Kolkata: Two minor grandsons of S.K. Bangur, chairman of Ltd, have approached the Calcutta high court seeking partition of their family’s assets and businesses worth Rs3,000 crore.
The two minor petitioners have said their mother Nitya Bangur, nee Khaitan, 42, had under “compelling circumstances" left her husband on 19 June 2017 to return to her parents’ home after 19 years of marriage.
The boys, “out of their own free will", left their home at 16 Alipore Road along with their mother.
Under the Mitakshara school of Hindu family law, they have now staked claim to 2/9th of the assets and businesses controlled by their grandfather S.K. Bangur, which include West Coast Paper, Gloster Cables Ltd, Fort Gloster Electric Ltd and a large rubber plantation in Kerala.
S.K. Bangur did not answer phone calls or reply to text messages.
The petitioners have alleged that their grandfather has failed to run the family businesses “successfully" and that they were concerned that their right to the family estate may be denied, their legal counsel Debanjan Mandal, partner at law firm Fox & Mandal, said in a statement on Thursday.
Under the Mitakshara school, the petitioners have a stake to ancestral properties by “virtue of their birth in the family", said Mandal.
The undivided Bangur family’s business was started by Mungee Ram Bangur, who migrated to Kolkata from Rajasthan in the 19th century. His descendents partitioned their businesses in 1992, after which S.K. Bangur took control of enterprises such as West Coast Paper, Shree Rama Newsprint Ltd and Jayshree Chemicals Ltd.
Alleging mismanagement of the companies, the petitioners have said Rama Newsprint suffered losses continuously from 2008-09 to 2014-15 until it was sold by the group.
Similarly, Shree Digvijay Cement Co. Ltd and Jayshree Chemicals also had to be sold after facing difficulties. “Assets of the joint family have substantially depleted (under the control of S.K. Bangur)... and businesses have been sold from time to time," the petitioners have alleged.
“After several attempts for an amicable settlement failed", a notice was sent by Fox & Mandal staking claim to the family assets, which included businesses and trusts. But S.K. Bangur declined to acknowledge his grandsons’ right to the estate, alleged Mandal in the statement.
A petition was filed in the Calcutta high court recently, and the court has ordered a retired judge and two senior barristers to attempt a “settlement through mediation", according to the statement. The process is expected to start next week.