I'd love to be able to listen in on what Malvinder and Shivinder Singh are saying right now about their uncle, Gurinder Singh Dhillon -- the guru of Radha Soami Satsang Beas.
According to the India Supreme Court, it seems that the only way the Singh brothers are going to stay out of jail is if Dhillon repays a massive amount of money that was loaned to him by Malvinder and Shivinder, seemingly in a fraudulent manner involving the siphoning of funds from companies controlled by the Singh brothers and the guru's right hand man, Sunil Godhwani.
So says a NDTV story, "Will Send You To Jail," Ranbaxy Singh Brothers Told By Court: 10 Points."
Download Ranbaxy Laboratories: Will Send You To Jail Ranbaxy Singh Brothers Told By Supreme Court-10 Points
NEW DELHI: The former promoters of pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy, Malvinder Mohan Singh and his brother Shivinder Mohan Singh, were told by the Supreme Court today that they could go to jail for disobeying orders to pay dues to Japanese firm Daiichi Sankyo. "We will go into the issue - why you violated our orders. We will send you to jail. We have given you a chance but you are unable to pay," the court said.
Here's the first three points. I've boldfaced the mention of the RSSB guru.
- The top court was hearing a petition by Daiichi Sankyo which is seeking to recover Rs. 3,500 crore awarded to it by a Singapore tribunal in its case against the estranged brothers.
- Last month, the top court had asked the brothers to inform it on how they plan to comply with the order passed against them by the Singapore tribunal.
- One of the Singh brothers today told the Supreme Court that his assets can be sold and that he is yet to get dues to the tune of Rs. 6,300 crore from Gurinder Singh Dhillon, the head of the Radha Soami Satsang. "You may be owning half of the world but there is no concrete plan as to how the arbitral amount would be realised. You said that somebody owed you Rs. 6,000 crore. But this is neither here nor there," a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.
In US dollars, Rs. 3,500 crore is about $505 million, while Rs. 6,300 crore is about $939 million. So a heck of a lot of money is at stake here.
It's difficult to tell what happens next in the financial drama, or more accurately scandal, involving the Singh brothers, Gurinder Singh Dhillon, the Dhillon family, and Sunil Godhwani, the guru's right hand man who was installed as the CEO of a company, Religare, that siphoned vast amounts of money into shell companies controlled by the Dhillons and close associates.
Everybody involved in this unholy mess has a different interest and motivation.
Daiichi Sankyo. The Japanese firm that won the above-mentioned $505 million award from the Singh brothers, after a court ruled that Malvinder and Shivinder covered up problems with adulterated drugs prior to their sale of Ranbaxy to Daiichi, wants to get the money they're legally owed. Likely Daiichi doesn't care how the Singh brothers come up with the money, so long as it is paid. If the Singh brothers go to jail, that means no money for Daiichi.
Malvinder Singh. He has filed a criminal complaint against the RSSB guru, alleging that Gurinder Singh Dhillon orchestrated the fraudulent loans, then made a death threat against Malvinder after his nephew refused to sign a "family settlement letter" that seemingly would have absolved Dhillon of the responsibility to repay the loans. Malvinder doesn't want to go to jail. He wants Dhillon to pay back the $939 million owed him. But...
Religare. The board of a Religare subsidiary has filed a complaint with the Delhi Economic Offences Wing alleging that the Singh brothers, Godhwani, and unnamed other co-conspirators (some of whom appear to be Dhillon family members) engaged in a conspiracy to siphon money from Religare into shell companies.
Religare, like Daiichi, wants to get its money back. And it seems that this will only happen if the RSSB guru pays back the money that was funneled to him and his family. So it looks like Religare and Daiichi are both competing for the same pot of money.
if I'm right, it's an interesting legal tangle.
Leaving Indian law aside, which obviously I'm not familiar with, it seems that Religare has the strongest moral case, since the money that ended up in the hands of Gurinder Singh Dhillon and his family came from Religare coffers. It doesn't seem right that Daiichi could be paid by the Singh brothers if the RSSB guru somehow was able to come up with the $505 million, since this was money obtained fraudulently, it appears.
Shivinder Singh. Malvinder's complaint says that at one point Shivinder was in line to replace Gurinder Singh Dhillon as the RSSB guru in exchange for Shivinder forgiving the money owed him by the Dhillon family. It's unclear whether Shivinder still has a close relationship with his uncle, the guru. What does seem clear is that Shivinder and Malvinder are at odds. Last year Shivinder filed a complaint against Malvinder that seems to be more or less a mirror image of Malvinder's complaint against Shivinder and others.
Sheetal Talwar. He's sort of a bit player in this drama, being owed only $1.5 million by Gurinder Singh Dhillon. But he's also filed a criminal complaint alleging that a death threat was made against him by someone associated with RSSB.
Gurinder Singh Dhillon. The RSSB guru is a centerpiece of this scandal, but so far I'm not aware that he has made any public statements. Perhaps his attorneys have advised this. I suspect that he is hoping that even if his nephews go to jail, no one will be able to prove that he was involved, or even the ringleader, of the conspiracy to funnel fraudulent loans into the pockets of the Dhillon family.
Well, good luck with that.
In my opinion the odds are stacked against Dhillon, though there's a chance he could escape at least some of the criminal charges -- especially if he was able to repay the $939 million, or a big chunk of the money. That might be the price of Malvinder requesting that his complaint against the RSSB guru and others be dropped.
But if Dhillon was able to repay the loans, seemingly he would already have done so. Instead, it appears that real estate deals made with the fraudulently-obtained money have gone bad, or bad enough to leave the Dhillon family unable to provide the money the Singh brothers need to satisfy the Supreme Court and Daiichi.
The Religare complaint makes it quite clear that in addition to getting the money back that was siphoned out of this public company, Religare wants to get at the bottom of who orchestrated the massive financial fraud and benefitted from it. That's a finger pointing directly at Gurinder Singh Dhillon, since it is difficult to imagine that Dhillon's wife, his sons, or close associates would have engaged in the fraud on their own.
So my bet is that the bad legal karma currently focused on the Singh brothers will eventually migrate to the RSSB guru. Naturally I could be wrong about this. It's just an educated guess, based on what has been reported in the Indian financial press about Dhillon's involvement in this scandal.