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Kirloskar family feud reaches SC; Sanjay challenges HC’s order for arbitration | India News

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NEW DELHI: The festering Kirloskar family feud over the deed of family settlement (DFS) relating to the assets of 133-year-old corporate group has reached the Supreme Court with Sanjay Kirloskar challenging a Bombay HC decision ordering resolution through arbitration, as sought by all other members of the country’s one of richest family business groups.
Sanjay Kirloskar, CMD of Kirloskar Brothers Ltd (KBL) famous for manufacturing pumps which are a household name, requests the SC to quash the Bombay HC 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, which was entered into on September 11, 2009 between them.
Sanjay’s petition, filed through advocate U A Rana of Gagrat and Co solicitors, is listed for hearing on Thursday before a bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy. Atul Kirloskar has filed a caveat through advocate Liz Mathew to prevent Sanjay from getting an ex-parte order from the SC.
Sanjay claimed that disputes arose a year after signing of the DFS as his other brothers and their spouses sold their shares in KBL to Kirloskar Industries Ltd in breach of the settlement. In 2017, Atul and Rahul, who were managing Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd, breached the non-compete clause and acquired La Gajjar Machineries and started manufacturing and advertising for submersible pumps, the bread and butter of KBL. He said he had persuaded Vijay Kelkar to mediate between warring family members for a settlement but it failed.
He said in 2017, Kirloskar Proprietary Ltd was incorporated, with equal partnership of all members of all branches of Kirloskar family, to hold and protect all trademarks of Kirloskar group. He said Atul, Rahul in league with Gautam Kulkarni and their family members ousted Sanjay Kirloskar from the KPL by not supporting/voting for his re-appointment.
Frustrated, Sanjay filed a civil suit in June 2018 for implementation of 2009 DFS in letter and spirit, restrain other group companies from competing in pump manufacture business and sought damages to the tune of Rs 750 crore from Atul and Rahul for breach of non-compete clause of DFS by acquiring La Gajjar Machineries and advertising submersible pumps, one of the mainstays of KBL owned by Sanjay.
After the trial court agreed to proceed with the DFS suit by Sanjay Kirloskar, many members of the Kirloskar extended family having stakes in the family owned myriad business enterprises, moved the Bombay HC led by Atul and Rahul to claim that many of the 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. They sought an arbitration route for resolution of the differences.
The Bombay HC on June 21 agreed with Sanjay’s brothers and other family members and relegated the dispute to arbitration. Sanjay, his wife and two children moved the SC challenging this order of HC.



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