The Bombay high court on Tuesday asked industrialist Atulya Mafatlal and his estranged wife Sheetal to resolve their disputes through mediation. They have been directed to submit names of their preferred mediators within two days. Further hearing in the matter has been deferred till Thursday, when the court is likely to appoint a mutually acceptable retired judge as mediator.
"The genesis of the matter appears to be the matrimonial discord and such matters are better resolved through mediation instead of making them public," observed a division bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice Abhay Thipsay.
The bench was hearing petitions filed by Atulya's daughter Marushka, his married sisters Kunti Shah and Gayatri Jhaveri, as well as a petition filed by Peter Waz, director of Mangalya Trading and Investment, a private investments company owned by Atul.
Marushka, Shah and Jhaveri have moved the court seeking quashing of a First Information Report (FIR) registered with the Gamdevi Police Station, on the basis of complaints lodged by Sheetal. Waz has sought the registration of an FIR against Sheetal and some others for allegedly stealing a costly painting, belonging to the investment company, from Mafatlal House.
Sheetal had lodged complaints on July 16, July 30 and August 4, 2011 with the Gamdevi police that she was physically and mentally harassed by her husband Atulya, his 78-year-old mother Madhuri, and some other members of the family, at their Altamount Road residence.
Marushka, on the other hand, has filed a complaint with a magistrate's court alleging that Sheetal had stolen more than 35 paintings from their Altamount Road residence just before she left for London on July 14.
Madhuri Mafatlal has also leveled allegations of theft against Sheetal, saying she had removed valuable silverware from the family residence.