Bombay High Court

Bombay High Court: Manish Pitale, J., recently rejected an interim application filed by Ramesh Sippy, regarding a property dispute of inheritance rights over various assets including 27 cinematograph films, 500 shares, and a flat in Mumbai.


Famous filmmaker Ramesh Sippy’s case was that the defendants, i.e. his nephews, nieces, and directors, indicated their intention to oust him from his 1/5th share in flat 5/A and also other assets of his deceased parents including 27 cinematograph films and 500 shares of his deceased parents in a company. It was submitted that his deceased parents had died intestate, and his mother obtained Letters of Administration in her favor, claiming to be the beneficiary under the will dated 26-04-2007, executed by his famous filmmaker father G.P. Sippy. He further claimed that he became aware of the aforesaid documents along with the will executed by his mother, in favor of his brother only in 2013.

He further urged that when, in 2022, he became aware of the affidavit executed by his brother in 2016, relinquishing all his rights under the will, cause of action arose on his part to assert his share in the estate. While relying on Mannalal Khetan v. Kedar Nath Khetan , it was also alleged that the transfer of shares by his mother had violated Section 108 of the Companies Act, 1956, hence the defendants could not assert any rights in respect of the said shares.

On the contrary, the defendants submitted that Ramesh Sippy had been constantly shifting stands and that the assertion about him becoming aware of the documents only in 2022 was made to escape the consequence of Section 106 of the Limitation Act, 1963. It was also submitted that Plaintiff could not claim any rights in respect of the 27 cinematograph films since his earlier pleas regarding the flat 5/B and 5 other films had been rejected by the Supreme Court.


The Court noted that in the suit filed by Ramesh Sippy for flat 5/B, he had asserted that his parents died intestate and also claimed to know of a letter sent by the society in respect of two applications, one by his mother based on the 2007 will of G.P. Sippy and another by the defendant based on his 2003 will. The Court found it difficult to understand why appropriate steps were not taken by Ramesh Sippyfor his claim that his parents died intestate as soon as he got to know of the above-mentioned details. The Court stated that it found substance in the argument that the story about Ramesh Sippy becoming aware of the documents only in 2022 was a labored set of facts to assert a cause of action, and that he had been shifting stands since the previous suits.

The Court said that the rejection of interim reliefs prayed for by him had been rejected even by the Supreme Court which is another factor indicating that he had failed to make out a prima facie case for granting interim relief for flat 5/A.

Further, the Court held that, since his brother was the beneficiary of the 27 cinematograph films in dispute, and since he relinquished his rights, they would devolve on the five branches of the Sippy family. The Court also said that his entire assertion about becoming aware of the affidavit in 2022 was to bring the suit within limitation. The Court also stated that Ramesh Sippy only asserted violation of the mandatory requirement of Section 108 of the Companies Act, 1956 after the transfer forms became available to him along with the reply affidavit of the defendant and that reliance could not be placed upon Mannalal Khetan (supra) since it did not indicate that the requirement was mandatory. The Court also refrained from exercising discretion in favor of Ramesh Sippy, in respect of the 500 shares and subsequently, while holding that the application was found to be without any merit, and refused to grant interim relief.

[Ramesh Sippy v. Sunhil Ajit Sippy, 2024 SCC OnLine Bom 1099, Order dated 12-04-2024]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Plaintiff — Advocate Shanay Shah

For Defendant — Advocate Archit Jayakar, Advocate Pooja Yadav, Advocate Parita Mashruwala

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