Economy

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

PALAK SHAH Mumbai | Updated on February 17, 2019 Published on February 17, 2019

In happier times Malvinder and Shivinder Singh   -  THE HINDU

In police complaint, accuses former head of Religare Godhwani of fraud; Malvinder claims he was threatened whenever he tried any recovery

After years of speculation that Gurinder Singh Dhillon, head of Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB), a North India-based spiritual commune, received thousands of crores from the Singh brothers of Ranbaxy, Malvinder Singh has now detailed how money allegedly flowed from his companies to the ‘spiritual leader.’

In a complaint this month to the Economic Offences Wing (EoW) of the Delhi police, 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 the 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.”

“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 lieu 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.

The complaint says Shivinder acquired six companies belonging to Dhillon and his associate Rajveer Singh 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. While Shivinder did not reply to emails, calls and WhatsApp messages, Malvinder did not want to comment. Dhillon could not be reached. Gulia said Malvinder’s claims are imaginary.

Published on February 17, 2019
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