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Lalit Modi vs Bina Modi: SC appoints two judges as mediators in family property dispute

New Delhi, Dec 16, 2021- The Supreme Court on Thursday appointed two retired top court judges – Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice Kurian Joseph – as mediators to settle the family dispute between former Indian Premier League Chairman Lalit Modi and his mother Bina Modi.

During the hearing, senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Harish Salve, appearing for both the sides, urged the top court to appoint mediators in the matter. “Please appoint SC judges… we leave it to the court,” they said.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana suggested the names of two judges as mediators. The counsel for the parties agreed on the judges to mediate the matter.

The bench, also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hima Kohli, also suggested the parties utilise the facilities at the recently-inaugurated International Arbitration and Mediation Centre (IAMC) in Hyderabad. The mediators were asked to complete the mediation proceedings possibly within a period of three months.

The matter is in connection with a Family Trust Deed executed in London by K.K. Modi as settlor/managing Trustee and Bina, Lalit, Charu, and Samir as Trustees.

One of the counsel representing the parties said: “Requesting to appoint names not there on either of the lists.” The bench, while deliberating on the names of the judges, said: “Judges who have recently retired – Justice Deepak Gupta, Justice (R.F.) Nariman, Justice Kurian Joseph.”

Salve, who is appearing for Lalit Modi, submitted, “Your lordships need not ask us, just take two names.”

The Chief Justice then said: “I am suggesting Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice Kurian Joseph.”

Counsel for the parties agreed on the names. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi represented Bina Modi.

Concluding the hearing in the matter, the bench asked the parties to use the facilities of Hyderabad mediation centre. It added, “We also direct parties to maintain confidentiality and mediators to undertake Non-Disclosure Agreements before commencing mediation.”

The top court was hearing an appeal against a Delhi High Court order, which held the suit filed by Lalit Modi’s family members challenging initiation of arbitration proceedings in Singapore by him regarding family property, is maintainable.  (Agency)

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