CHENNAI: A division bench of the Madras High Court has upheld an order dated November 24, 2016, of a single judge appointing Justice D Hariparanthaman, a retired judge of HC, as the Administrator to manage the assets, estates and the Trust of former Chief Minister M G Ramachandran, worth crores of rupees.
“We are in agreement with the finding of the single judge that there is no consensus even amongst the beneficiaries and there is also a strong objection for the appointment of Latha Rajendran as the Interim Administrator. We are of the view that no useful purpose will be served if one of the parties to the dispute is appointed as an Interim Administrator.
It will only lead to further litigation and multiplicity of proceedings. Hence, it is in the interest of all the parties to the dispute as well as the beneficiaries and to safeguard the laudable objects of the testator M G Ramachandran under his Will dated January 18, 1987, that the court appointed Administrator (Justice Hariparanthaman) administers and manages the affairs of the estate and the Trust,” a division bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Abdul Quddhose observed on Wednesday.
The bench was dismissing appeals from Latha Rajendran and Geetha Madhumohan challenging the November 2016 judgment of Justice M M Sundresh appointing Justice Hariparanthaman as the administrator. Among other things, both claimed that each of them are fully educated, equipped and deserved to be appointed as the administrator.
Not amused, the bench pointed out that this is a matter in which the single judge had employed his discretion after considering all aspects of the matter. There is no error of law and/or fact, which would require the bench to interdict the impugned judgement.
“It is a plausible view, with which we find no fault. In the result, we find no infirmity in the common order dated November 24, 2016 passed by the single judge. Hence, we dismiss both the appeals,” the bench said.
The bench, however, made it clear that in case of any change of circumstances and there is a consensus amongst parties to the dispute in the near future, they are at liberty to approach the single judge for any appropriate relief in the interest of the estate and trust bequeathed by MGR under his January 1987 Will.
Justice Hariparanthaman, known for his simplicity and honesty, was appointed as the Administrator of the property, both movable and immovable, of MGR. The property is of substantial value. The intention of the original testator (MGR) is very clear that the property is to be utilised for a philanthropic purpose mainly, among other things, Justice Sundresh had pointed out in his November 24 last year order.
A perusal of the Will executed by MGR showed his clear intention. He did not want a property dispute between his relatives. Unfortunately, what he apprehended and wanted to avoid couldn’t be done as a number of proceedings were initiated by his relatives and that of his wife V N Janaki over his property.