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Earlier, the bench had appointed the mediators and asked them to try to resolve the dispute.New Delhi: Businessman and former Indian Premier League (IPL) head Lalit Modi and his mother Bina Modi Thursday told the Supreme Court that the top court-mandated mediation to resolve a long pending property dispute in the family has failed and urged that the case be adjudicated upon here.A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, however, asked senior lawyers including Harish Salve and A M Singhvi, appearing for Lalit Modi, and Kapil Sibal and Mukul Rohatgi, for his mother Bina Modi, to explore the possibility of resolution of the dispute again and intimate it.The top court, on December 16, last year, had taken the consent of rival parties to the family property dispute and had appointed former top court judges – Justices Vikramjit Sen and Kurian Joseph – to mediate and help the Modis to find an amicable solution.The bench, also comprising justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli was hearing Lalit Modi’s appeal against the judgement of a division bench of the Delhi High Court that the anti-arbitration injunction lawsuit filed by Bina Modi, wife of late industrialist K K Modi, against her son is maintainable.Harish Salve, appearing for Lalit Modi, said “I have a report from mediators. There is a report saying that the mediation has failed. Let us get on with the matter.” On the other side, Kapil Sibal raised preliminary objections saying “there is a trust and the dispute relates to trust. It has been held in several judgements that trust disputes cannot be decided through arbitrations.” Mukul Rohatgi also objected to the filing of the appeal by United Kingdom-based Lalit Modi through his power of attorney.”These relate to the merits of the cases. We will deal with these as well,” the bench said.After hearing brief submissions, the bench adjourned the matter to next week and asked the lawyers to take instructions on solving the dispute amicably.Earlier, the bench had appointed the mediators and asked them to try to resolve the dispute.”Ultimately both parties have agreed to mediation under Judges Vikramjit Sen and Kurian Joseph. We suggest parties use the facilities of the Mediation Centre in Hyderabad. They can request online mediation.”We direct parties to maintain confidentiality and request mediators to take undertakings. Mediation to expedite proceedings preferably within a period of three months,” the bench had said.A lawsuit had earlier been filed by Bina Modi. It sought to restrain the arbitration proceedings initiated by Lalit Modi, a founder of the Indian Premier League (IPL), in Singapore over the dispute.The top court had earlier suggested mediation to the parties and asked them to give names of mediators of their choice.In December 2020, the division bench of the high court held that it has the jurisdiction to decide Bina Modi’s plea challenging Lalit Modi’s move to initiate arbitration proceedings in Singapore.The division bench had set aside the judgement of a single judge of the high court, which had said it does not have the jurisdiction to adjudicate the anti-arbitration injunction suits filed by Lalit Modi’s mother Bina, his sister Charu and brother Samir and they are open to taking such pleas before the arbitral tribunal in Singapore.The single judge had said an anti-arbitration injunction suit does not lie, so the pleas are not maintainable, and dismissed the matter.Bina, Charu, and Samir, in two separate suits, contended that there was a trust deed between the family members and the K K Modi family trust matters cannot be settled through arbitration in a foreign country according to Indian laws.They have sought a permanent injunction restraining Lalit Modi from prosecuting or continuing with the application for emergency measures and any arbitration proceedings against them in Singapore.The division bench, in its judgement passed on December 24, 2020, had said the subject dispute ought to have been prime facie adjudicated by a single judge, who had to exercise the jurisdiction vested in the court as all the parties are Indian citizens and ‘situs’ of immovable assets of the trust is in India.The division bench had remanded two civil suits to the single judge for further proceedings, in accordance with the law, from the stage of issuance of summons and directed the registry to list them for hearing.According to the case, the trust deed was executed in London by K K Modi as settlor/managing trustee and Bina, Lalit, Charu, and Samir as trustees, and in pursuance of an oral family settlement was recorded between them on February 10, 2006.K K Modi died on November 2, 2019, after which the dispute emerged amongst the trustees.Lalit Modi contended that after the demise of his father, in view of the lack of unanimity amongst the trustees regarding the sale of trust assets, a sale of all assets of the trust has been triggered and distribution to beneficiaries has to occur within one year thereof, the single judge had noted.His mother and the two siblings contended that on a true construction of the trust deed, no such sale has been triggered.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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