The four Hinduja brothers are in the midst of a legal battle over their multi-billion-fortune and at the crux of that dispute is a letter. The letter dated July 2, 2014, states that the assets held by one brother belong to all the brothers and that each of them would appoint the others as their executors. However, Srichand Hinduja, the 84-year old patriarch along with his daughter Vinoo want the letter to be declared null and void.
According to a report in Bloomberg, the dispute came to the fore during a hearing on Tuesday at the Royal Courts of Justice.
In November 2019, Srichand approached the Business and Property Court in London and sought to declare the letter revocable. This was opposed by the three brothers, Gopichand, Prakash and Ashok, who raised objection to the fact that Vinoo Hinduja is representing her father (litigation friend) in the proceedings. Srichand's wife Madhu and the other daughter Shanu appeared as witnesses to vouch that Vinoo has been appointed as Srichand's litigation friend.
Justice Falk who was presiding over the judgment on Tuesday confirmed that Vinoo is Srichand's litigation friend. She was told that Srichand has "age-related disease" and cannot conduct these proceedings.
It also emerged that in July 2018, the three brothers tried to take control of the Hinduja Bank that was in the sole name of Srichand. The basis of the tussle was that the three brothers believed that Srichand lacked capacity. Justice Falk referred to the Hinduja Bank tussle in a redacted form to safeguard sensitive information.
The three brothers said that Vinoo has her own separate financial interest in pursuing the case and that an independent solicitor should represent Srichand.
Gopichand, Prakash and Ashok in a statement said that the litigation would have no impact on their business and that the proceedings go against their founder's and family values. They said that the principles that "everything belongs to everyone and nothing belongs to anyone" have stood for decades. "We intend to defend the claim to uphold these dearly held family values," they said.
The Hinduja family is among the world's richest. The Hinduja Group has investments in finance, healthcare, media across 40 countries. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the Hinduja family fortune is valued at $11.2 billion.