Here's another twist in the oh-so-fascinating big-money drama involving the Singh brothers (Malvinder and Shivinder), the guru of Radha Soami Satsang Beas, and a host of supporting characters.
A Business Today story says, "Singh brothers case: Shivinder drew Rs. 9 crore salary during 'retirement'; misled SC about 'Sanyaas.'" (9 crore is about $1,300,000; SC refers to the Supreme Court of India)
Download Singh brothers case: Shivinder drew Rs 9 crore salary during 'retirement'; misled SC about 'Sanyaas'
Here's how the story starts out:
Singh brothers Malvinder and Shivinder are on the verge of being thrown behind bars on April 11 when the Supreme Court hears contempt proceedings against the two in the $500 million order given in favour of Japanese pharma maker Daiichi Sankyo.
In the run-up to the proceedings, Shivinder's affidavit before the Supreme Court claimed that he had been on a 22-month Sanyaas - a sabbatical devoted to serving at the Radha Soami Satsang Beas - starting January 1, 2016. Hence, the contempt proceedings should not be applied to him as he was not in control of the affairs of the group. "...Deponent is not and at all material times was not in control of the entities against whom any contempt is alleged," he said in his affidavit.
However, fresh evidence available with BusinessToday.In suggests that Shivinder had never dissociated from the group. Instead, he was not only keeping abreast of and directing crucial decisions in the group but was also drawing salary from two group companies.
Hopefully this drama will be made into an Bollywood movie, because the plot lines are so complex and deliciously scandalous. I've hugely enjoyed following the saga for quite a few years.
In February 2016 I wrote a blog post, "Billionaire Shivinder Singh plans to volunteer for Indian guru." At that time Shivinder reportedly planned to be a full time sevadar/volunteer at the Beas headquarters of Radha Soami Satsang Beas, giving up his business responsibilities.
In July 2018 there was a rumor in the Indian financial press about Shivinder becoming the next RSSB guru, succeeding his uncle, Gurinder Singh Dhillon. I wrote about this in "Gurinder Singh's billionaire nephew rumored to succeed him as RSSB guru."
Then, in February 2019, Shivinder's brother, Malvinder Singh, filed a criminal complaint against Shivinder, Gurinder Singh Dhillon, and several others.
Part of the complaint alleged that Dhillon, the RSSB guru, was willing to pass on the leadership of Radha Soami Satsang Beas to Shivinder in return for Shivinder forgiving a massive amount of money that was fraudulently loaned to the Dhillon family.
When Malvinder refused to sign the family settlement, he says a death threat was made against him by Gurinder Singh Dhillon -- which sure doesn't seem like a "spiritual" thing for a guru to do.
So now the Business Today story says that Shivinder Singh, who wanted to succeed Dhillon as RSSB guru, lied about giving up his business responsibilities to devote himself to volunteer work at the Dera.
However, documents in possession of BusinessToday.In suggest that in the period January 1, 2016 to September, 2017 when he said he was not involved with the affairs of the group as he claimed to be in 'full time charitable service', he was in fact drawing a salary from group firms ANR Securities & Ranchem.
Shivinder's Form 16 submitted to the Income Tax Department suggests that he drew a gross salary of Rs 21.75 lakh per month each from the two subsidiaries of RHC Holding - the group holding firm. Together, the two firms paid him Rs 9.12 crore in the period January, 2016 - September, 2017 as gross salary and Rs 5.9 crore as net post-tax salary during the period of 'retirement'.
Besides, multiple documents suggest that, far from retirement, Shivinder was deeply involved in the group's affairs, directing deals, advising board meetings and schedules and often intervening in discussions, even leading them at times.
It's an unholy mess, for sure.
Likely the Supreme Court isn't going to look kindly on Shivinder making false statements to the court -- especially since Shivinder tried to use his supposed stint as a full-time RSSB volunteer to get out of a contempt decree issued by the court.
It's interesting that someone appears to have leaked documents to Business Today regarding Shivinder's ongoing business involvements while he supposedly was on a spiritual sabbatical. It could well be that more leaking/whistle-blowing is going to occur.
People in the know could have various motivations for doing this.
Such as: not approving of what the Singh brothers, the RSSB guru, and others have been doing; wanting to cooperate with authorities to avoid being implicated in the wrongdoing; revenge for having been treated badly by Malvinder, Shivinder, and others involved with this scandal.
It's virtually certain that more twists and turns are going to occur in this drama. Hopefully justice will win out in the end.