APL panel decides against Harsh Lodha re-appointment in MP Birla firms

Last year, too, the APL Committee had decided not to support the re-appointment of Lodha as a director in Vindhya Telelinks and Birla Cable.
The committee of Administrators Pendente Lite (APL), appointed to protect the late Priyamvada Birla’s estate, has decided by a majority against re-appointment of Harsh Vardhan Lodha in M P Birla Group companies Birla Corporation and Universal Cables. Lodha is the chairman of both firms.

Apart from Lodha’s re-appointment, the APL committee decided against paying him profit-linked director’s remuneration from all four listed companies. The Birla Corporation AGM will be held on Tuesday.

The Birlas filed an application before the Calcutta High Court for implementation of the APL committee’s decisions. They also sought removal of Lodha from all positions within the M P Birla Group.
Since the single judge was in the middle of final hearings on last years’ AGMs of the companies, the judge did not pass an interim order on the application, which was challenged by the Birlas before the Division Bench of the High Court. The matter was heard by the Division Bench on Monday, which has directed that the resolutions regarding re-appointment of Lodha in Birla Corporation and Universal Cables and payment of profit-linked directors’ remuneration shall abide by the final orders in the applications being heard by the single judge Bench.

The Birla side said in a statement, “This leaves the stay of Harsh Vardhan Lodha in the four manufacturing companies — Vindhya Telelinks, Universal Cables, Birla Cable and Birla Corp­oration — at the mercy of the courts.” However, Debanjan Mandal, Lodha’s legal counsel, said, “This is an insignificant event. Prayer for adjournment of AGM was made in the petition along with several other prayers. But none were passed. The petition will be heard. There is no interim order.”

Last year, too, the APL committee had decided not to support the re-appointment of Lodha as a director in Vindhya Telelinks and Birla Cable.

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