TRIKONA ADVISERS LIMITED v. HAIDA INVESTMENTS, LTD., et al.,

SC 19439

Judicial District of Hartford

 

      Interpleader; Whether Court Abused its Discretion in Finding That Competing Claims to Corporate Shares Warranted an Order of Interpleader; Whether Interpleader Order Violates Concepts of International Comity.  Trikona Advisers Limited (Trikona), a Cayman Islands corporation, brought an action against Rakshitt Chugh, its former senior executive, and certain entities that Chugh controls, alleging, among other things, breach of fiduciary duty.  Two of Chugh's entities, Haida Investments, Ltd. (Haida), and ARC, LLC, collectively own fifty percent of Trikona.  Asia Pacific Ventures Limited (Asia Pacific), which allegedly owns the remaining shares in Trikona, sought an interlocutory judgment of interpleader, asking that it be permitted to tender its shares to the trial court for safekeeping pending resolution of competing claims to the shares.  Interpleader is an equitable remedy available when one has, or is alleged to have, possession of money or other property that is claimed by two or more persons.  Asia Pacific claimed that Chugh and his entities were seeking to gain ownership over its shares in Trikona through a Cayman Islands proceeding, which was initiated to dissolve and wind up Trikona, so that they could then extinguish Trikona's action against them.  Asia Pacific further alleged that another corporation, Vera Financial, claims to be the owner of its shares in Trikona.  The trial court entered an interlocutory judgment of interpleader and ordered that the Trikona shares be delivered to the court pending the resolution of the parties’ competing claims.  Haida and Chugh appeal from the trial court's interpleader order, arguing that the court abused its discretion in finding that there were competing claims of ownership as to the shares.  They also argue that the interpleader order improperly interfered with the Cayman Islands proceedings, thereby violating principles of international comity.