Though it appeared that the dispute between the members of Mafatlal family and daughter-in-law Sheetal was over after her industrialist husband Atulya tendered a public apology, the divide between her and matriarch Madhuri and son Ajay continues.
The Bombay high court on Monday restrained the Gamdevi police from filing a charge sheet against the mother-son duo in connection with the dowry harassment case registered by Sheetal. A division bench of justices Abhay Oka and SS Shinde directed the police to file a reply on the petition filed by Madhuri and Ajay by December 11.
Seventy-nine-year-old Madhuri and Ajay filed a petition last month seeking quashing of a criminal case registered against them at the Gamdevi police station on a complaint filed by Sheetal. In separate complaints, the socialite had alleged that Madhuri, Atulya, Ajay, daughters Kunti Shah and Gayatri Jhaveri and Atulya's children Varun and Marushka had harassed her mentally and physically at her matrimonial home – Mafatlal House at Altamount Road.
The high court in October 2011 appointed a mediator and directed the family members to amicably settle their dispute. After a gap of about a year, Atulya, Varun, Marushka and Shah settled their disputes with Sheetal, following which the court had quashed complaints and proceedings lodged by each side against the other. However, no agreement could be reached with the mother-son duo.
Countering Sheetal’s allegations, the duo has alleged that she has physically and mentally harassed them by filing several civil and criminal cases, including one under dowry law — section 498A of the Indian Penal Code.
The duo further alleged that the recent tussle and subsequent public settlement between Sheetal and Atulya was “part of a larger criminal conspiracy so that other family members of deceased Yogindra Mafatlal could be dragged into uncalled for and unwarranted controversies and litigation of criminal law.”
Atulya had tendered unconditional apology for causing harassment to Sheetal, accepted her right to suitable residence, in a separate bedroom in Mafatlal House, and promised to get her another one in case the couple decides to divorce.