On 4th May 2020 in Calcutta High Court, a division bench pulled out an earlier order. The said order prohibited three companies of MP Birla Group from publishing the voting results. Those voting results were of the Annual General Meeting (AGM), which took place on 19th August 2019.
However, one of the legal heir (Mewar) challenged this. Birla’s filed three Special Leave Petitions. They protested against the order passed by the Calcutta High Court. Harsh v. Lodha is a director in two of these three companies and also promised a share in profits in all of them.
Lodha has been reappointed as a director in Vindhya Telelinks and Birla cable and is Chairman in third, Birla Corporation.
Supreme Court’s Observation
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice M.R. Shah stated that: ‘The results of AGM will be subject to the Calcutta High Court’s decision. The Apex Court said that the bench will decide the issue of jurisdiction preferably within a month. According to partner Debanjan Mandal, “this verdict shows a major victory, second in a week in the sustained efforts of these companies”.
The Dispute was relating to the reappointment of Lodha in Vindhya Telelinks and Birla cable and his remuneration as director. The Supreme Court enabled the probate court to reanalyze the issue of reappointment of H V.Lodha. As per Lodha’s representative (Mandal), he says that no orders can be passed by the probate court against third party companies.
The Supreme Court dismissed the SLPs against the division bench of The Calcutta High Court. The apex court recapitulates the order of Single Judge Court. It stated that the Single Judge Court should determine the issue of jurisdiction.
The Calcutta High Court bench repealed the single bench ruling. The Supreme Court dismissed the three SLPs by saying they are not inclined to entertain it under Article 136 of The Constitution of India.
Supreme Court’s Verdict
The Supreme Court asked a Calcutta High Court’s Judge to figure out the issue of jurisdiction alongside with the Interim relief applications. Also, Supreme Court exhorted the Calcutta High Court’s Judge to provide an outcome within a month.
Though the companies moved to the SC, it was not entertained by the Supreme Court. The result of the AGMs will be subject to the decision by the learned Single Judge.
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