Preparations for a board meeting of Prius Real Estate ended in fisticuffs between brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, the former promoters and owners of Ranbaxy Laboratories, Fortis Healthcare and Religare, at their Hanuman Road office in central Delhi on Thursday evening. Neither of the brothers is a member of the board though.
In a video sent to friends and relatives, Malvinder has alleged that younger brother Shivinder assaulted him at their office: "Today is December 5th, 2018. Little after 6:00 pm, Shivinder Mohan Singh assaulted me at 55, Hanuman Road. He physically hit me. He hurt me. He injured me (here). He broke this button. He gave me a bruise here. He bruised me here. And he kept threatening me and refused to budge until the team came together and separated him from me", says Malvinder in the video.
Shivinder has denied the allegation, calling it 'fake' and a 'lie'.
Sources, however, confirmed the incident did take place with several employees of RHC Holding as witnesses.
Friends' and family's intervention, however, cooled down the tempers and prevented it from escalating into a police case.
Sources say both sides went to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital for a check up right after the incident before family, particularly mother Nimmi Singh, intervened.
The fight between the brothers has been brewing ever since the brothers lost Rs 22,500 crore in less than a decade, besides losing control over family firms Fortis Healthcare and Religare Enterprises.
Once the Rs 9,576 crore worth of proceeds from the Ranbaxy sale were received, Singh brothers paid nearly Rs 2,000 crore in taxes and previous loan repayments. Of the remaining Rs 7,500 crore, Rs 1,750 crore were invested in Religare and Rs 2,230 crore in Fortis. But Rs 2,700 crore were transferred to companies owned by the family of the brothers' spiritual Guru Gurinder Singh Dhillon and his wife Shabnam Dhillon as well as companies associated with senior functionaries of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas. While Religare and Fortis lost a lot of money in reckless expansion, the money transferred to Dhillon and associates - now estimated to be between Rs 4000-5,000 crore - remains unpaid to the brothers.
Since then, the fight between the two brothers has been in the open. First, the brothers alleged the transactions were orchestrated by a family confidante Sunil Godhwani. Later, Shivinder filed a suit with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), alleging elder brother Malvinder of forging his wife's signature, perpetrating illegal financial transactions and leading the company into an unsustainable debt trap. He sued Malvinder for "oppression and mismanagement" of their companies.
The petition was later withdrawn after mother Nimmi Singh's intervention to give a chance to the family members to intervene and arrive at a settlement.
However, Thursday's development clearly indicates the animosity is far from over. Rather, it is brewing, festering and is set to take an ugly turn.