Bajaj Hindustan Chairman Shishir Bajaj, engaged in a legal battle with elder brother Rahul over division of the group, today alleged that his cousin Shekhar had tried to oust him as Chairman of the holding firm Bajaj Sevashram on instructions from the Bajaj family patriarch.
During the proceedings before the Company Law Board (CLB), Shishir's counsel RA Dada alleged that Shekhar, who was a director in Bajaj Sevashram, started a campaign to oust him from his position. "If you see the minutes of the board meeting they were tampered," Shishir's counsel said. <b1>
Dada contended that Shekhar had started calling board meetings. "Many times two different board meetings were convened and two different version of minutes are here. Interestingly after one meeting, he claimed that he was appointed as Managing director," Dada said, adding that some day he may even appoint himself as the Chairman. Hence, Shishir's petition against Rahul and other family members, demanding 25 per cent share in the group in cash or management control of two group companies.
Dada said such actions by Shekhar could be done only at the behest of Rahul, who holds approximately most of the group wealth through Bajaj Auto Ltd. "Respondent no 12 (Rahul Bajaj) is who controls all important stakes... Nothing could be done without his consent," Dada said.
Insisting that he be paid his share or given control of two companies, Shishir said: "Principles of partnership" is not very strong in the group now. "Now, nobody denies the difference in the group and disputes the partition plan. We just wanted it by parity, equality and mutual trust."
Bajaj Sevashram is crucial for all Bajaj brothers as it has major cross holding in all group companies and also controls majority of Bajaj Hindustan, which is controlled by Shishir Bajaj.
Shishir also made allegations of nepotism on group patriarch Rahul Bajaj in promoting his sons Rajeev and Sanjeev in the company. "Every one should be inducted in the board by mutual trust. When my son (Kushagra) was to be inducted then (a decision was effected) that no Bajaj family member would be inducted.
"Even I suggested that one son (of Rahul) should come to Bajaj Hindustan and my son should go to that side, but was opposed," said Dada on behalf of Shishir. PTI
He also raised concerns over the past efforts for fair valuation of his stake in Bajaj Auto due to alleged non-cooperation from Rahul. He contended that their family friend Sharad Pawar (now Union Agriculture Minister) also tried to settle the row.
"But the mediators could not fix the price. They just put a maximum and minimum price band for that," said Dada, adding that Pawar had fixed maximum share price of Bajaj Auto at Rs. 268, against the then market price of Rs. 460.
"His (Rahul) idea is that yes we have lost confidence. you (Shishir) should go out but only at my terms," contended Dada, adding that questions were also raised on his 25 per cent stake. "I was told that my share is 21 per cent as we were five brothers. But I should go with 25 per cent as I am claiming my rights through my father Kamalnayan Bajaj who has only two sons," he said, adding Shekhar, Madhur and Niraj are sons of his uncle Ramkrishna Bajaj and are entitled for 16.3 per cent.
Shishir Bajaj's counsel would continue his arguments tomorrow in CLB.