The Supreme Court on Tuesday said "mediation is the best solution" while hearing a plea by Kirloskar Brothers Ltd CMD Sanjay Kirloskar challenging a Bombay High Court order for resolution through arbitration in a dispute over the deed of family settlement, in connection with the assets of 133-year-old corporate group.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana asked the Kirloskar brothers to explore the mediation route to settle the family dispute.
The bench, also comprising Justice Surya Kant, emphasised that the issues should sorted out through mediation. "If you want assistance, we can appoint a judge," it said. "Common family friends can mediate in the matter," said Justice Surya Kant.
Sanjay Kirloskar had urged the top court to quash the high court order and ask the parties - his brothers Atul (CMD of Kirloskar Engine Oils Ltd) and Rahul (CMD of Kirloskar Pneumatic Company Ltd) and all other family members - to submit to the civil court at Pune, where he had filed a suit for implementation of the DFS.
After hearing arguments in the matter, the Chief Justice said: "Mediation is the best solution."
The bench told the parties, otherwise you can go on litigating for years, which is not good for a reputed business family and industry.
The court, which ordered status quo on the Bombay High Court order directing arbitration as well as the civil suit, asked both sides to suggest names who could mediate and resolve the dispute disputes as it issued notice, returnable in six weeks, on Sanjay Kirloskar's appeal.
Sanjay Kirloskar had moved the top court through advocate U.A. Rana of Gagrat and Co solicitors. He claimed the dispute arose a year after signing of the deed as his other brothers and their spouses sold their shares in KBL to Kirloskar Industries Ltd in breach of settlement.
After the trial court agreed to proceed with the DFS suit by Sanjay, many members of the extended family, led by Atul and Rahul Kirloskar, having stakes in the family-owned business enterprises, moved the Bombay High Court. They claimed that many defendants in the suit, like Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd, La Gajjar and Kirloskar Proprietary Ltd, were not party to the DFS and hence the suit was not maintainable and sought an arbitration route for resolution in the matter.
( 396 Words)