[Lalit Modi Family Dispute] Supreme Court Appoints Its Former Judge Justice RV Raveendran As a Mediator

Justice RV Raveendran

Today, the Supreme Court appointed its former Judge Justice RV Raveendran as a mediator in the family dispute of Lalit Modi, his mother Bina Modi, his sister Charu and brother Samir seeking to restrain the arbitration proceedings initiated by Lalit Modi in Singapore over property disputes in the family.

The bench of Chief Justice of NV Ramana, Justices Krishna Murari, and Hima Kohli directed the parties to properly maintain confidentiality during the proceedings and directed them not to use social media in relation to the matter.

Earlier, the Court had appointed former Supreme Court judges Justices Vikramjit Sen and Kurian Joseph as mediators. This is the second round of the Meditation. The Court has also recorded the statements of  Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal.

On the last date, the court had asked parties to come up with a solution to solve the dispute and also asked them to file an application for seeking any interim relief.

In the hearing, Senior Advocate Harish Salve who appeared for Lalit Modi, submitted that as per the directions issued by the bench for filing an application seeking interim relief, an application was filed wherein relief for appointment of a trustee and for restricting the respondents from alienating trust properties was sought. Referring to clause 5.1 of the trust deed as per which the members of the trust had to meet at least once in 6 months for continuing the business, Salve said that no meeting has been held in the last 2 years since Lalit and Samir Modi were on one side and the mother and daughter were on the other side.

Senior Advocate AM Singhvi also appeared for the petitioner and requested the bench to grant status quo with regards to the properties as the same were the subject matter of downstream companies.  He also submitted that the mother was running the business on her own and the last meeting of the business was held in the year 2019.

Advocate Kapil Sibal submitted that he was ready to make a statement that no properties would be sold pending the disposal of the matter.

At this juncture, Senior Advocate Shyam Divan appearing for Samir Modi said, “I’m willing to exit but there has to be some manner in which it has to be settled.”

“We were the ones who had sent you to mediation,” the CJI said.

The lawyers argued that their respective clients were willing to mediation but the settlement became impossible due to the lack of cooperation from the opposite parties.

CJI at this juncture proposed another round of mediation.

“So many things are out of the area, we should not go into this issue. In the process of discussion and debate, several things will come up. Now again I’m proposing are you willing another round of mediation?”, the CJI said.

After the parties agreed to solve the issue through mediation the bench appointed Justice Raveendran as the mediator. Justice Raveendran was earlier appointed by the Supreme Court to head the committee constituted by it to probe the Pegasus spyware allegations.

The present special leave petition has been filed challenging the judgment of a division bench of the Delhi High Court, which held that the anti-arbitration injunction suit filed by late industrialist KK Modi’s wife Bina Modi against her son Lalit Modi is maintainable.

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