Punjabi owners of UK’s Radisson Blu Edwardian hotels in big legal battle

Prominent British Sikh hotelier Jasminder Singh, head of Britain’s Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotels group is all set to take on his 86-year-old father in a bitter legal face-off over family wealth worth the £415 million.

Bal Mohinder Singh who spent years in Africa before moving to UK in 1973 is suing his eldest son Jasminder (62) for taking full control over the family fortune and refusing to follow the Sikh tradition of sharing the family wealth.

The case will come up in the high court in London from Tuesday.

Both Bal and Jasminder are highly respected by the Asian diaspora in UK. They still share a seven-bedroom home but are not in talking terms.

Owners of famous London landmarks like the Vanderbilt, Savoy Court and May Fair, the hotel group is now worth an estimated £415 million.

It is believed that Bal had put Jasminder in charge of the business because of his acumen in English and finance. But according to the case filed in Court, Bal alleged that in 2010, his son forced him to retire and then refused to share business profits with the family.

“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. I was devastated with being forced out and since then my health has failed. My wife is unwell too. When I travel to the high court I will be in an ambulance and it will be very difficult and stressful to have to give evidence against Jasminder,” he said.

Bal has also told the court that Jasminder has been trying to get him and his wife Satwant Kaur Singh to leave their home and move out. Jasminder allegedly also refused to provide a chairlift for his mother who can no longer climb the stairs.

Bal has accused his son of abandoning the “Mitakshara” system which calls for sharing of wealth among family members under the Sikh traditions.

Bal began his business in the Kenyan port of Kisumu where he ran a restaurant and nightclub. Jasminder was born in Tanganyika in 1951.

If successful, Bal could end up claiming a third of the joint family assets.