Father of Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel chain boss says he is ashamed of his son

26 November 2013 by
Father of Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel chain boss says he is ashamed of his son

One of the country's top judges has moved his court this week from its normal base at London's Rolls Buildings to the plush surroundings of the May Fair Hotel off Piccadilly.

The judge, Sir William Blackburne, made the move in a case which rates as one of the biggest ever disputes in a family owned hotel chain.

The May Fair, is part of the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel chain, and the major dispute in the multi million pound legal battle is between the company chief, Jasminder Singh, 62 (pictured), and father Bal Mohinder Singh, 86.

Mr Singh senior claims that as a family member he is entitled, under the family's religious traditions, to a third of the family wealth. Jasminder is said to be worth around £415 million but the court claim is said to be worth about £50m.

The change of court venue was made because Mr Singh senior, was too ill to travel to the courts and it was decided that moving the court to the hotel's conference room was the best solution to enable him to give evidence.

Mr Singh's other son, Herinder, 46, is also involved in the dispute and the court has been told that he too maintains that his property "is his own."

In a written witness statement before the judge, Mr Singh Senior said: "I and his mother are deeply ashamed that Jasminder should publicly renounce his cultural heritage and the mutual rights and obligations of the family system in which he was brought up."

"The respect which we have earned as a family has been the basis for the success of our business in this country.

"For Jasminder to deny that and claim all the credit and ownership for himself will be shocking to wide sections of (Sikh and Hindu) communities, particularly our family friends. That is why his mother and I are so ashamed."

He also claimed that Jasminder has a "domineering personality".

Under cross examination at the hotel, he told the judge that he was unhappy at being removed as a director of the group three years ago and said he felt that he was still capable of contributing to the company.

In written submissions before the court, Jasminder's lawyers denied that the relationship between him and his father was governed by the principles and practices of the "Hindu joint family", and that he never had any intention that the ‘Mitakshara' concept of joint Hindu property would apply.

The hearing continues.

Footnote: to prepare the hotel conference room for the court hearing efforts were made to make the room as closely as possible resemble a real court room. However, unlike the hearing at the main courts the judge and lawyers abandoned their wigs and gowns for the hearing. Traditionally a court is where-ever a judge decides to hear a case so it can be in some-one's living room, a field if he is looking at a land site or even once in a railway station waiting room!

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