The billionaire Hinduja brothers, mixed with the High Court dispute over the assets of the family

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Britain is the second richest of the family are embroiled in a High Court row over their £16 billion fortune, as one of the brothers who seeks to challenge the claim that their assets should be divided equitably.The Hinduja Brothers, who are the co-chairs of the India-based conglomerate Hinduja Group, which lists the banking, oil and property among its global ventures, came only behind inventor Sir James Dyson, in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List.

But the family are locked in a bitter dispute on their vast assets, with Srichand Hinduja, 84, described as “the current patriarch of the family”, launching a legal action against his brothers, Gopichand, 80, Prakash, 75, and Ashok.

He is seeking a declaration that a letter, signed by all in July 2014, which states that “assets held in a sole name of brothers represent all four”, has no legal effect, such as a will or any other binding document”.

The judge added that Srichand had said in 2016, witness statement, that “the July letter does not reflect his wishes, and that the assets should be divided”.

At a hearing of the High Court, on Tuesday, Mrs Justice Falk named Srichand’s daughter Vinoo to the conduct of proceedings in the name of his father amid claims that he is suffering from a form of dementia which makes it difficult to give instructions to his legal team.

This, despite the defendants ‘ lawyers, saying that he is still able to understand and communicate decisions independently, they argued that his daughter had “its own financial self-interest in the continuation of the procedure”.

However, the judge ruled that “she has not an effect of interest” in the case, allowing Vinoo to act as his father’s “litigation friend”.

Ms Falk said: “It is said, on Srichand account that, if the defendant’s position on the July the letter is correct, then that throws Srichand real estate and tax planning in the chaos, calls into question the validity of his / her wishes, potentially moving the appointment of his executors, and may also make the acts of its agents is not valid.”

“If part of what is right, and I did not understand the statement to be challenged, the procedure that seek to determine the legal effect of the July letter, and the face of the uncertainty which currently exists, cannot rationally be found to be contrary to the Srichand of his interests.”

“In principle, it must be in Srichand interest of the effect of the July letter definitively determined, and these procedures appear to be an appropriate step to his attorney, to take his name.”

It became clear during the hearing that the members of the family are also involved in litigation in Switzerland about the control of the Hinduja Bank, “an asset in Srichand name only” , as well as other procedures in Jersey.

Hinduja Group, founded in Mumbai in 1914, is headquartered in London and employs approximately 150 000 people around the world.

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