British Sikh tycoon sued by father, hearing today

London, UK: A prominent British Sikh hotelier is all set for a legal face-off with his 86-year-old father, who plans to sue his businessman son for failing to share with him the family wealth of 415 million pounds.

Bal Mohinder Singh is suing his eldest son, Jasminder Singh, head of Britain’s successful Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotels group, for abandoning the Sikh tradition of sharing family wealth by excluding him from the business. The case will come up in the High Court in London from tomorrow.

The 86-year-old was born in Punjab and then moved to east Africa before coming to Britain in 1973. He ran a post office in north London, where his son, now 62, would help out. The pair moved into the hotel business and their firm gradually bought about a dozen hotels, including the Vanderbilt and the Savoy Court in central London, with the May Fair, in Mayfair, as the flagship. The hotel group is now worth an estimated 415 million pounds. According to the ‘Daily Telegraph’, Singh had put Jasminder in charge because he had better English language skills and an accountancy qualification. But he claims that in 2010, his son forced him to retire and has failed to share the family wealth with him.

“As the head of the family, I have to be respected and the fact that I was forced to retire by Jasminder was very, very painful for me,” he told the newspaper. “My health has failed andmy wife is unwell too. It will be very difficult and stressful to have to give evidence against Jasminder,” he said. The father and son still share a seven-bedroom home in Berkshire but the senior Singh claims he spends most of his time in his room.

He is accusing his son of failing to abide by the “Mitakshara” system, from the Sikh and Hindu traditions, which implies a sharing of family wealth. Jasminder Singh has declined to comment on the case but in earlier submissions has contested his father’s claims.

Family feud

  • The 86-year-old was born in Punjab and then moved to east Africa before coming to Britain in 1973
  • He ran a post office in north London, where his son, now 62, would help out
  • The pair moved into the hotel business and their firm gradually bought about a dozen hotels, including the Vanderbilt, the Savoy Court and the Mayfair in central London
  • The hotel group is now worth an estimated 415 million pounds

Source: The Tribune

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