Richa Mishra

New Delhi, March 17

EVERYTHING is official now about Mr R.S. Lodha being on the board of Birla Corporation Ltd, the flagship company of the MP Birla Group. The Company Law Board (CLB) on Thursday declared Mr R.S. Lodha, Mr Prachepa Majumdar and Mr Vikram Swarup as elected to the board.

While declaring them as elected, the CLB Principal Bench, comprising Mr S. Balasubramanian, Chairman said, "...As is seen from the poll results, all the three of them have been elected as directors with 99.99 per cent votes polled in their favour. Accordingly, they were declared as elected."

Just before the scheduled annual general meeting (AGM) of the company in 2004, a section of minority shareholders had approached the CLB.

The board had then, while giving its go-ahead to the AGM, directed that the items relating to election of the three directors would be by poll.

It had added that the poll would be conducted under the chairmanship of a director of the company who had not come up for re-election in that meeting.

It had also directed that the results of the poll would not be announced and all documents relating to it be sealed and kept in the custody of the company secretary, who will function as an officer of the CLB for the purpose.

Besides, the directors who were proposed for re-appointment in the AGM would continue in office till the results of the poll were announced.

Earlier this year, the board had reserved its order on the application moved by a section of minority shareholders seeking a probe into the shareholding pattern of the promoters. On the application alleging oppression and mismanagement by the company, the bench had posted the matter for Thursday.

The high-voltage courtroom battle between the scions of the Birla clan and Mr Lodha began last year, after the demise of Priyamvada Birla, the late chairperson of the group and Mr Lodha, Co-Chairman of the MP Birla Group had applied for probate as the successor.

After the death of M. P. Birla, his wife Priyamvada Birla inherited her husband's property on her own.

As they had no children, she, in her last will and testament, bequeathed her assets and properties to Mr Lodha.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 18, 2005)
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