NCLAT allows Valli Arunachalam plea to bring on record legal heirs following mother’s demise

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The Chennai bench of National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Wednesday allowed the interlocutory applications for bringing on record Valli Arunachalam and Vellachi Muruggapan as legal heirs of their deceased mother MV Valli Murugappan and to change the name of power of attorney holder of MV Murugappan Hindu Undivided Family.The tribunal allowed both the applications and directed Valli Arunachalam to carry out the changes within the period of two weeks while adjourning the matter for further hearing for April 20, 2022.

The NCLAT was hearing the appeal by the Murugappa group holding company Ambadi Investments (AIL) and other family members against the granting of withdrawal of first waiver application — which paved way for filing of fresh waiver application — on a company petition moved by Valli Arunachalam at the NCLT, Chennai.

The hearing started with Valli Arunachalam’s counsel apprising the bench about the fact that the tribunal heard the appeal at length on the first day of the listing of the appeal filed by AIL. Further, she explained the two applications filed by the applicants to bring themselves on record in place of MV Valli Murugappan (deceased) along with the application filed by MV Murugappan Hindu Undivided Family to substitute the name of power of attorney holder. AIL’s counsel submitted that they don’t have any objections in allowing the name change application.

However, he submitted that for the substitution application, he has objections with regard to the additional documents filed by applicants which were not there on the record of the waiver and company petitions filed in the NCLT and requested that he be allowed to file a reply.The tribunal at this juncture indicated that there was no requirement to file any reply in such applications and the tribunal was not hearing anything on the merits of the appeal. The Chennai bench of NCLT had on February 2, adjourned the next hearing to April 6, 2022 on the fresh waiver application by Valli Arunachalam, and her family members, post the hearing of the NCLAT appeal on March 23, 2022.

Kickstarting the hearing in the fresh waver application, the NCLT had directed AIL and other Murugappa family members to file their replies to the notice issued by the tribunal.

Valli Arunachalam and her mother MV Valli Murugappan, collectively referred to as the MVM family, had made the holding company AIL as respondent number 1 and Murugappa family members respondents 2 to 10 while moving the NCLT in March last year seeking waiver of minimum shareholding norm for maintaining the alleged oppression and mismanagement case against AIL.

Subsequently, acting on AIL’s appeal, NCLAT had directed the Chennai bench of NCLT to defer the hearing in the case filed by Valli Arunachalam until the appellate tribunal hears the appeal filed by AIL in the matter.

Valli Arunachalam is the daughter of Murugappa Group’s late executive chairman, MV Murugappan, and following his death in 2017, she, her sister and their mother hold 8.21% stake in AIL. She hit the headline in 2020 when she openly came out against the Rs 41,000- crore Murugappa group for denying her a seat on the board of AIL, despite having a substantial stakeholding. She even alleged gender bias in not appointing her.