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Upcoming payouts a possible trigger for Singh brothers feud

In February, Delhi HC upheld the Singapore arbitration tribunal’s decision to fine the brothers for around Rs 3,500 crore for “concealing and misrepresenting” facts.

Written by Deepak Patel | New Delhi |
September 6, 2018 1:46:27 am
Business news, RHC Holding, Religare, Malvinder Mohan Singh, Shivinder Mohan Singh, Religare notice, Religare Enterprises Limited, indian express Shivinder Mohan Singh (L), Malvinder Mohan Singh

Shivinder Mohan Singh and his elder brother Malvinder Mohan Singh do not own Religare, Fortis or Ranbaxy anymore, but the money-related issues emanating from these three companies have refused to die down.

At a time when Daiichi is trying to get Rs 3,500 crore from Singh brothers and Sebi is conducting a forensic audit of Fortis and Religare, Shivinder Tuesday moved NCLT against Malvinder and former CMD of Religare Sunil Godhwani for “oppression and mismanagement” of Fortis, Religare and RHC Holding.

In February, the Delhi High Court upheld the Singapore arbitration tribunal’s decision to fine the brothers for around Rs 3,500 crore for “concealing and misrepresenting” facts from Daiichi Sankyo in 2008.

In June, Fortis Healthcare said that it has initiated legal action to recover about Rs 500 crore allegedly taken out of the company by Singh brothers after an investigation found “systemic lapses and override of controls”.

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In January, Siguler Guff & Company filed a case in Delhi High Court accusing Singh brothers for siphoning funds from Religare.

Shivinder stated on Tuesday: “While the group business were in ‘competent’ hands, red flags have crept up in the group with disturbing regularity…My family reputation kept me a silent spectator, as I mutely watched the organisation I founded (Fortis) come to a point where it was publicly auctioned; where my family and myself have been stripped of our legacy, our finances and my personal credibility.”

Shivinder also raised objections regarding the media reports that focused on business dealings of Singh brothers with their spiritual guru Baba Gurinder Singh Dhillon, who heads the sect Radha Swami Satsang Beas (RSSB).

Shivinder stated: “Recent planted media articles attempting to foist the responsibility of poor decisions taken, to an elder in the family who always stood by us as a father-figure ever since the premature demise of our father; has compelled me to break my silence. Attempts to pass the buck to an eminent figure, who has been a guiding light not only to our family but also to a large section of the public, deceives no one.”

According to a source privy to the development, some senior members of the sect recently asked Dhillon about his reaction to various news reports regarding the Singh brothers. The source said that Dhillon told these members that he has answers to all the questions that have been raised and he will give the answers himself at an opportune time. Dhillon told the senior members that spiritual and business aspects of our lives are separate and that devotees should focus on the former and not get diverted from it.

The RHC Holding as well as the RSSB did not respond to the queries sent by The Indian Express. Another source — involved with RSSB’s corporate dealings — added that Dhillons have been in business with Singh brothers for a very long time. “Take the example of Luminous Holdings, which was set up in 2002, and has Babaji himself as a director. Moreover, his wife Shabnam Dhillon is the other director of this company,” he said.

According to documents with corporate affairs ministry, Luminous Holdings had a long term borrowing of Rs 6.5 crore as on March 2017. Of that, around Rs 4.4 crore came from Delhi-based Fern Healthcare. In June, a probe by law firm Luthra and Luthra found that Singh brothers moved about Rs 475 crore from Fortis to various private companies. Fern Healthcare was one of them.

Meanwhile, PTI reported on Tuesday that Shivinder has alleged in his petition before the NCLT that his elder brother Malvinder perpetrated illegal financial transactions, forged Shivinder’s wife’s signature and led the company into an unsustainable debt trap.

Malvinder and Godhwani “used their respective positions to perpetrate or cause others to perpetrate illegal financial transactions and various acts of mismanagement by and through RHC, leading to massive losses to RHC and its subsidiaries, and a depletion of the wealth,” the petition said, according to PTI.

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