The S K Bangur group, owners of West Coast Paper Mills, is facing a suit for portioning its assets, estimated at Rs 30 billion. The suit has been filed by S K Bangur's minor grandsons, and initiated by their mother, Nitya Bangur, in the Calcutta High Court.
Nitya Bangur, daughter of the late Deepak Khaitan and granddaughter of Brij Mohan Khaitan, is married to the elder son of S K Bangur, Virendraa Kumar Bangur. However, on June 19 last year, she separated from the Bangur family “under compelling circumstances”, the petition said.
The suit has been filed by the grandsons, aged 12 and 14 years, for protecting their right in the coparcenary assets and properties, which, they contend, will be denied by their grandfather and other family members. They are seeking a two-ninth share of the assets.
A notice of partition was issued by Fox & Mandal, advocates on behalf of the two grandsons, claiming partition in December 2017 after several attempts at an amicable settlement failed. This led to the partition suit.
On January 19, the court directed the parties to attempt a settlement through mediation. Justice Alok Chakraborty, retired judge of the Calcutta High Court, has been appointed a mediator and requested to conclude the proceedings within 60 days from the date of the communication of the order.
Debanjan Mandal, Partner, Fox & Mandal, confirmed that the court had ordered mediation.
When contacted, S K Bangur said this was a family matter. “The court has ordered mediation, so we will go by what has been ordered,” he said.
The court has said till the mediation proceedings are concluded, the status quo with regard to the properties will have to be maintained.
The S K Bangur group has diverse business interests. The partition has been sought for the assets and properties of S K Bangur that he received on partition of the larger Bangur family in the 1990s, comprising West Coast Paper Mills, Fort Gloster Industries Limited (Cable Division), Jayshree Chemicals, Kil Kotagiri Tea & Coffee Estates Co Limited, Thirumbadi Rubber Co Limited, 50 per cent of Shree Digvijay Cement Co Limited (consisting of cement- Sikka & Bombay Hastings Mill- jute division). In 1995, a property of more than 175 cottahs in Alipore was also partitioned, and the S K Bangur group received 75 cottahs. Other properties and several trusts were also partitioned, which, too, are now being sought to be carved up.
The petition alleged that after coming to know the intending partition, the Bangur family had started invading the petitioners' right in the joint estate by transferring, alienating and/or dealing with the joint estate in a manner that would result in depriving the petitioners of their fair share in the joint estate. “The invasion is such that compensation in money would not afford adequate relief,” the petition said.