New Delhi: Vijaypat Singhania, who gifted control of his billion-dollar textile empire — the Raymond Group — to his son Gautam three years ago, is having second thoughts. In fact, if media reports are to be believed, Vijaypat, who has not spoken to his son for two years now, plans to test a recent court ruling that allows parents to take back gifted property from their children, if they do not have their basic needs met.
The relationship has deteriorated over the years with the father accusing the son of cheating him out of an exclusive apartment and of unceremoniously kicking him out of the company offices. Vijaypat now regrets his decision, which he claims was an outcome of “emotional blackmail.”
Vijaypat Singhania’s troubles started after he handed over his 37-percent controlling stake in 2015. Under a 2007 agreement to settle a separate family tussle, Vijaypat says he was supposed to receive an apartment in the Singhania family’s 36-storey JK House in the upmarket Malabar Hill area of Mumbai.
The price agreed was far below the market value of the flat — which is in the tens of millions of dollars — and Gautam advised the Raymond board against selling a valuable company asset. As the feud escalated, the board also took away Vijaypat’s “chairman emeritus” title, accusing him of using abusive language in letters to the company.
And he claims he was physically removed from his office and his possessions — including a Padma Bhushan, one of India’s top civilian honours — were stolen. Now, he describes handing Raymond over to Gautam as “the height of stupidity”, and the start of a campaign to oust him from the 93-year-old business he once helmed.
I would advise parents everywhere not to make the mistake of giving away all your savings to your children during your lifetime,” said the elder Singhania. But Gautam has a different take on take on the feud. “It was the right thing to do. My responsibility as a son is different from as chairman of Raymond.
Here is a board member (Vijaypat) who is using his position on the board to acquire company assets,” Gautam told India’s Economic Times last year. “I am the victim. What have I done wrong?” Raymond Group has apparently not suffered from the dispute. It reported a 50-percent profit rise for the second quarter of 2018. (AFP)