Acting on a court order, the police on Tuesday conducted search operations at two properties of industrialist S K Bangur, to recover assets and property allegedly belonging to his daughter-in-law, Nitya Bangur, estimated at around Rs 150-200 million.
Nitya, had moved out from her in-laws' house around a year and a half back complaining that she was tortured physically, mentally as well as emotionally. At that point in time, she left her assets back in that house which she claimed had become inaccessible to her.
Nitya, daughter of the late Deepak Khaitan and granddaughter of Brij Mohan Khaitan – the late Williamson Magor Group patriarch, was married to the elder son of S K Bangur, Virendraa Kumar Bangur, on February 1998. However, on June 19 last year, she, along with her two sons, separated from the Bangur family.
S K Bangur did not respond to calls or messages.
"I left this house only with two suitcases. All other items – my clothes, shoes and other personal belongings are still in this house. They (husband and mother-in-law) have tortured me physically, mentally and emotionally to the point that I had gone crazy. Then my mother came and rescued me out of here. They (in-laws) have been holding back all my income tax records, official files and other things and I have no access to these," Nitya told the media on Tuesday.
These alleged assets include silver items, valuable shawls, expensive sarees, carpets, crockery and showpieces, ivory items and paintings as well as investment records, bank account statements and books which are in the office of S K Bangur.
S K Bangur, who heads the Bangur Group, owns West Coast Paper Mills.
Her sons, aged 12 and 14 years, had filed a legal suit, under their mother’s initiation, for carving off the family’s assets estimated at Rs. 30 billion. It followed after several attempts of an amicable settlement failed.
The suit was filed for protecting the rights of the two minor Bangur scions 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 estimated at around Rs. 7 billion.
The Calcutta High Court had ordered to maintain status-quo with regard to the joint family properties forming the subject matter of the suit. The order still subsists as on date and inspite of expiry of time for filing replies, the Bangur family members have not filed reply to the High Court proceedings.
The criminal complaint and the ensuing legal suite originates after Nitya and the Bangur family failed to reach an out-of-court settlement which was favoured by the Marwari community. Sources claimed that a settlement amount of Rs. 1.5 billion was finalised and the necessary papers were also drafted but S.K. Bangur backed out eventually which led to a spat of legal proceedings.