Our Bureau

Kolkata, July 5

Early this week, Rameshwara Jute Mills Ltd filed criminal complaints at the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's office against four of its former directors alleging criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, forgery falsification of accounts and others.

On Tuesday, Mr Justice Jaladhar Mandal, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, after examining the documents ordered trial proceedings against the four directors - S.N. Prasad, S.K. Daga, K. Damani and R.K. Damani.

Rameshwara Jute Mills is now under BK Birla management. Earlier, it was with the Lodha camp because the company was always managed by the MP Birla Group. After Priyamvada Birla's death, the company was managed by Mr Lodha.

However, it might be noted that the Birlas always had a majority stake in this outfit. In company's AGM of 2005, the Birlas managed to take control of it. The four directors against whom criminal proceedings would start belonged to the other camp.

Allegations

Addressing a press conference, Mr N.G. Khaitan, legal counsel of the Birlas, alleged that the four directors carried out several illegal activities to retain Mr Lodha's control over the company.

Against the four directors charges were brought under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy), 406, 409 (criminal breach of trust), 465, 467, 471 (forgery and use of forged documents), 477A (falsification of accounts) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of Indian Penal Code.

The Lodha camp reacted sharply to this development. Calling it a "frivolous case", a senior officer of Lodha's legal team said it is actually "an attempt to harass and oppress" him.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 6, 2006)
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