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$32M legal battle looms

By AZARD ALI Tuesday, May 29 2007

click on pic to zoom in
BIG BROTHER: Jack Ramoutarsingh leaves San Fernando High Court yesterday after hearing of the $32M land settlement case he is contesting against his s...
BIG BROTHER: Jack Ramoutarsingh leaves San Fernando High Court yesterday after hearing of the $32M land settlement case he is contesting against his s...

A SAN Fernando High Court judge, who is adjudicating in a multi-million dollar property dispute case, yesterday enquired if well-known businesswoman Helen Bhagwansingh, was present in court.

Bhagwansingh and her brother – businessman Jack Ramoutarsingh – are locked in a $32M legal battle over lands. Bhagwansingh who manages Bhagwansingh’s Hard-ware stores, did not show up for the second hearing yesterday.

Justice Aboud expressed concerns about her absence. On March 21, Justice Aboud urged the brother and sister to resolve their dispute amicably. Yesterday, attorneys representing the parties told the judge that they were prepared to go to trial.

Ramoutarsingh was the former owner of Dansteel in La Romaine, while his sister manages the Bhagwansingh chain of stores. He contends that by deed of agreement, he is entitled to half share of the interest and estate, in lands held in the name of Bhagwansingh.

The lands, comprising 32 acres at Southern Main Road and 27 acres at La Plaisance Estate, are worth $32 M. Senior Counsel Frank Solomon, instructed by Devesh Maharaj, is representing Bhag-wansingh.

British Queen’s Counsel Richard Spearman, instructed by Prakash Deonarine, is representing Ramou-tarsingh. When the case was first called on March 21, Justice Aboud asked Ramoutarsingh to stand up in court. He then asked for Bhagwansingh, but Solomon said that the sister could not face her brother “in such circumstances.”

Ramoutarsingh sat in court with his son but his sister Bhagwansingh was not present. The judge asked, “Where is Ms Helen Bhagwans-ingh...where is your client Mr Maharaj?” The judge then commented, “Guess, there is no settlement...we go to trial.”

Hearing continues today.

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