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Round two

 The warring brothers of one of India’s bestknown business families, Rahul and Shishir Bajaj, resumed their fight for separation. Representatives of both sides appeared before the company law board (CLB), each slapping allegations on the other other.

Amit Mukherjee | Print Edition: Nov 18, 2007

Last fortnight, the warring brothers of one of India’s bestknown business families, Rahul and Shishir Bajaj, resumed their fight for separation.

Representatives of both sides appeared before the company law board (CLB), each slapping allegations on the other other.

A battery of at least a dozen lawyers appeared with tonnes of documents to support their charges. However, the efforts of the CLB, which had asked the two to sort out the disagreement amicably, weren’t enough. The board, headed by Chairman S. Balasubramanian, had asked the two groups to prepare a report on the areas of dispute that are holding up a mutually acceptable agreement for splitting the family business, by Novemeber 26.

The CLB has also directed the two Bajaj factions to list the points of contention responsible for the differences between the two. “(I told them) you first tell me the areas of difference, and I would then make an attempt (to resolve the issue). But no one is talking about them,” said Balasubramanian during the CLB proceedings.

The brothers were given about two months by the CLB to amicably solve their dispute over the directorship and control of two of the family’s holding companies— Bachhraj & Company, and Jamnalal Sons. These are two key companies that hold shares in other group companies.

While Rahul Bajaj’s group made it clear before the CLB last month that they have failed to settle the ownership battle over their family business empire, Shishir maintained that he wants 25 per cent of the ‘family interest’ as per his entitlement.

The dispute is primarily over a clear-cut division of the companies in the Bajaj group — Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Electricals, Bajaj Hindusthan and Mukand. While Shishir Bajaj group has management control over Bajaj Hindusthan and Bajaj Consumer Care, the remaining companies are under the control of the Rahul Bajaj group. Shishir Bajaj now wants to split the ownership, but Rahul says: “Things won’t happen the way he (Shishir) wants it.”

Once the two factions file their report in November, the CLB is expected to assign a date in January when it would take up the issue again.

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