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How Singh brothers Shivinder and Malvinder lost their fortune

PALAK SHAH Mumbai | Updated on October 11, 2019 Published on October 11, 2019

Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh   -  BusinessLine

Malvinder himself has provided the trail of more than ₹8,600 crore or $1.22 billion

 

The now infamous Singh brothers Shivinder and Malvinder, who were under scanner of the Economic Offence Wing (EoW) of the Delhi police for fraudulent loan from Laxmi Vilas Bank, are accused of siphoning nearly $2 billion from their corporate empire that spanned across listed companies including pharma major Ranbaxy, leader in hospital chain Fortis Healthcare and financial services company Religare Enterprises.

But where did this plunder go?

Malvinder himself has provided the trail of more than ₹8,600 crore or $1.22 billion that went to Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB), a North India-based spiritual commune.

The association of Singh brothers and RSSB chief Gurinder Singh Dhillon goes back to school days, a source close to the family told BusinessLine. Singh brothers are the alumnus of famed Doon School ensconced in Dehradun, a holiday town situated amidst the mountain in the foothills of the Himalayas in the state of Uttrakhand. Doon School was set up under the British Raj and was once the stomping grounds of the Indian elite. While Singh brothers and Rajveer Singh Gulia, a close associate of Dhillion studied at the Doon School, Dhillion himself studied at Lawrence School, Sanawar, in the Shimla hills of Himachal Pradesh. Lawrence school accorded the same level as Doon and is often a competitor too.

Read also - Malvinder: For spiritual seat, Shivinder allowed Dhillon to siphon off ₹8,646 crore

After years of speculation that Dhillon, RSSB received thousands of crores from the Singh brothers, Malvinder Singh this year in a police complaint detailed how money allegedly flowed from his companies to the ‘spiritual leader.’ BusinessLine broke this story of Singh brother’s transfer of funds to RSSB on February 17, 2019. Shivinder Singh transferred the money as he was promised a seat of the head of RSSB. The former head of Religare, Sunil Godhwani was a plant of RSSB who facilitated the transfer of wealth of Singh brothers to the spiritual commune, sources told Business Line.

In a complaint Malvinder accused his younger brother, Shivinder , the Dhillon family and the former head of Religare Enterprises, Sunil Godhwani, of criminal conspiracy, cheating and fraud for allegedly siphoning off thousands of crores from RHC Holdings, the group’s holding company that once promoted Fortis Hospitals and Religare.

What the complaint says

According to the complaint, a copy of which is with BusinessLine, loans extended to the Dhillon family reached ₹5,481 crore and Malvinder was repeatedly threatened whenever he tried any recovery. The complaint has various ledger details, bank account statements and email correspondence between the associates of Dhillon, Shivinder and Malvinder.

It claims that apart from loan termed as ‘Part 1’, the total outstanding from Dhillon as on March 2016 stood at ₹8,646.47 crore. ‘Part 2’ included “investments held for Dhillon and losses proportionate to his shareholding parked with (Singh brothers) for business reasons.”

Read more: Singh vs Singh: Of personal battles and collective liabilities

“Shivinder initiated these actions and permitted siphoning and malfeasance of funds with the ulterior motive of gaining control of the seat of the spiritual head of RSSB, which was promised to him by Dhillon in place of the financial gains,” the complaint states.

According to Malvinder, the genesis of the fraud can be traced to Godwani’s induction into Fortis Finance (now Religare) in 2001 and later RHC (which he managed), both at the behest of Dhillon. Being a member of Fortis Healthcare and SRL boards, Godhwani was also a key decision-maker in the financial affairs of these companies and controlled the subsidiaries of RHC. After their father’s death, the Singh brothers considered Dhillon as a ‘guide.’

Malvinder says Shivinder was involved in the affairs of RSSB and visited its headquarters frequently. Godwani intertwined the finances of the Dhillon family and the companies of the Singh brothers, and in collusion with Shivinder, diverted group funds. Malvinder presents detailed reports on personal loans extended to Dhillon, his wife, children and close associates by his group companies. He has also attached copies of several requests made by him to Dhillon for settlement and return of funds as apart from RCH Holdings, the Dhillon and Godwani family owed ₹600 crore to Fortis Healthcare. SEBI has accused the Singh brothers of diverting ₹403 crore from Fortis Healthcare to RHC.

More read - RFL case: Delhi court grants 4-day custodial interrogation of Singh brothers, 3 others

The complaint says Shivinder acquired six companies belonging to Dhillon and his associate Gulia to absorb the loans into the books of RHC. Also, “Shivinder unilaterally signed a purported family settlement with Dhillon to absolve him of any wrongdoing, and Malvinder was threatened to do the same.” Malvinder has said in his correspondence he was shocked to know that companies acquired by RCH were not going concerns by 2017-18. “How can this happen so quickly?” he wondered.

Malvinder states that Dhillon wrote to him seeking discharge from the liabilities. Court has now asked Dhillon to return the money to various companies from where the funds were siphoned. Police have arrested Singh brothers and Godwani.

Published on October 11, 2019
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