Kirloskar family feud 2.0: Jr Kirloskar wants one-fourth share of father’s assets

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What started as a feud between the Kirloskar brothers—Sanjay (60) and Atul (61)—over the construction of a gate at their homestead in Model Colony in January, 2017, soon snowballed into a fight between the matriarch, 82-year-old Suman Kirloskar, and her younger son, Sanjay, with the former claiming that her son had usurped a 10-crore land parcel at the family’s Lakaki Bungalow.

Sanjay was taken to court by his mother, the first round of which was declared in Sanjay’s favour by the city civil court. Now, in a fresh twist in the family’s bitter dispute, Sanjay Kirloskar has sought a partition of assets held by Chandrakant Shantanu Kirloskar Hindu Undivided Family (HUF). He has filed a suit in Pune civil court, senior division. The suit filed against his mother and brothers Atul, Rahul (54) and their families, demands a partition of properties valued at Rs 75 crore, where Sanjay is seeking one-fourth share, which according to suit, stands at Rs 18.5 crore. Sanjay has listed 10 items in the suit that belong to the HUF in his late father’s name.

This includes a 16,000 square feet plot near the entrance of Kirloskar family bungalow Lakaki, its belongings (“carpets, furniture, fixtures, TVs, transistors, tape-recorders, utensils, artefacts, etc”), equity shares in joint stock companies, bank balances, National Saving Scheme certificates, jewellery, cash and 11,322 shares in Kirloskar Oil Engines Limited. The suit states that Sanjay did not wish to be part of (coparcener) Chandrakant Shantanu Kirloskar HUF and wrote to his mother and brothers about the same on September 9, 2016.

In the letter he sought details of all the properties in the name of HUF and has demanded part i t i o n . H i s m o t h e r responded a month later to amicably resolve the issue. In the subsequent exchanges it was decided that all members of HUF would meet and address the issue. “Thereafter, meeting for effecting the partition never took place,” states the suit, adding that Sanjay was left with no option but to approach the court.

It also states that he never got any information on the assets held by the HUF. The suit adds that before his father passed away in March 1987, he left behind a will in which he bequeathed the Lakaki Bungalow and the belongings inside to his wife Suman. He also appointed the three sons and wife as executors of the will. Sanjay’s suit claims that his mother had lost “her legacy conferred upon her by the said will”.

This, he attributes to statements issued by her during a cross examination in another legal dispute. The suit claims that his mother had refused to accept her husband’s will in entirety during the cross examination. Picking a few lines from the examination, the suit states that Suman did not agree with 16,000-square feet plot inside Lakaki compound being a separate property, although his father stated so specifically in his will. In the suit Sanjay has sought his one-fourth share and also asked that his brothers and mother be restrained from altering the Lakaki compound in any manner.

Differences

The differences between two sides, with mother and eldest son Atul on one and Sanjay on the other, came out in the open in January last year when Sanjay got workers and machinery to demolish a portion of outer Lakaki compound wall. The standoff became public and reached Shivajinagar police station. While Sanjay sought protection to build the wall, Suman and her elder son Atul wanted the work to stop. The cops did not extend protection to Sanjay to break the wall, nor did they side up with the mother.

Suman’s suit against Sanjay

Suman filed a suit in civil court, senior division early last year. In an interim order, the judge hearing the case filed by the matriarch, partially ruled in the favour of Sanjay. Suman challenged the decision in Bombay HC. The HC asked both the sides to involve a mediator to try. The suit is scheduled to be heard next on April 24.

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