In a bid to stop warring members of the Mafatlal family from washing their dirty linen in public, the Bombay high court, on Monday, asked them to consider opting for an out-of-court-settlement.
“Why don’t you try settlement,” a division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice Abhay Thipsay asked the counsels representing both the parties. The accused included industrialist Atulya Mafatlal’s daughter Marushka, 20, and his two married sisters — Kunti Shah, 60, and Gayatri Jhaveri, 52. The complainant was Atulya’s second wife, 40-year-old socialite Sheetal Mafatlal.
On Monday, the court was hearing petitions filed by Marushka and Atulya’s sisters, who sought to quash an FIR registered against them by the Gamdevi police, based on complaints lodged by Sheetal on July 16, July 30 and August 4.
Marushka’s counsel Sayaji Nangre contended that they were unable to consider settlement immediately as Atulya was in London, where he is receiving treatment for cancer.
Sheetal’s counsel insisted that she had a strong, merit-based case, and sought time to file an affidavit in reply to the petitions. Accordingly, the court adjourned the case hearing till Thursday.
Sheetal has accused Marushka of insisting that she had stolen valuable paintings and silverware from the Mafatlal House on Altamount Road when she was preparing to go to London. In August, Marushka filed a case against Sheetal for stealing paintings worth more than Rs50 crore from their house. Atulya’s 78-year-old mother, Madhuri, accused Sheetal of stealing silverware.
Sheetal accused Atulya’s sisters of mentally and physically abusing her whenever they came to the Mafatlal residence.
In their petitions, Marushka and Atulya’s sisters argued that the allegations levelled against them were vague and that Sheetal had not cited any specific incidents of cruelty in her complaints.
The petitions further stated that Sheetal filed the complaints only to counter the theft case lodged against her. Marushka also alleged that through her complaints, Sheetal wanted to compel the Mafatlal family to forgo their claim on the paintings and silverware.