Brothers fight for control of multi-billion vast estate

Jagjit Singh Gurumukh Pandhaal claims that his brother Tejinder Singh Pandhal and their mother Pritam Kaur Pandhal have locked him out from benefiting and enjoying proceeds from the Sh1.5 billion vast estate left behind by their late father Gurumukh Singh Narain Singh Pandhall Alias Gurmkur Naran Singh Phandal. [Joackim Bwana/Standard]

Two brothers are facing off in court over the administration of a Sh1.5 billion estate left behind by their father.

One of the brothers is contesting his mother’s ability to administer the estate on account of her age and health.

Jagjit Singh Gurumukh Pandhaal claims that his brother Tejinder Singh Pandhal and their mother Pritam Kaur Pandhaal have locked him out of the vast estate.

Estate administrator

According to Jagjit, his father Gurumukh Singh Narain Singh Pandhaal alias Gurmkur Naran Singh Phandal left a will indicating that his mother, Pritam Kaur, was to be the administrator of the estate

But he now wants the court to stop his mother from being the estate’s administrator, saying she is incapable of administering the estate because of her advanced age — she is 85 years old.

“The first respondent (my mother) is now aged 85 and has developed some modicum of senility which situation has contributed to the second respondent (brother’s) dealing in the assets of the estate of my father,” said Jagjit.

Jagjit wants the court to order that he be allowed into their Nyali home and allowed to access funds to pay for his children’s fees and other expenses.

Seven properties

The dispute involves seven properties, including a transport yard at Mikindani sitting on two acres, Pandhaal Furniture Manufactures Workshop and Central Furniture show room along Lumumba Road, and three other properties in Mombasa. 

Jagjit argues that through his brother’s unlawful and unprocedural acts, he has been rendered almost a destitute, with no meaningful source of income. He said from two properties alone, his mother receives approximately Sh1.5 million per month in rent.

“I am legally entitled to a reasonable proportion of the said funds,” said Jagjit.

Jagjit, a Spanish national, says that he became aware of a gazette notice where his mother had lodged a petition for grant of probation of written will while on a holiday in Kenya last year. He accuses his mother of unlawfully taking over the control of his father’s furniture business.

However Jagjit’s mother, Pritam Kaur said that in 2013, she transferred three properties that formed part of her late husband’s estate to Jagjit. Kaur said that she asked her other son, Tejinder, to also transfer half of his shares to Jagjit.

The late billionaire Gurumukh Singh Narain Singh Pandhall Alias Gurmkur Naran Singh Phandal whose two sons Jagjit and Tejinder are fighting over the control of the Sh1.5 billion vast estate he left behind. [Joackim Bwana/Standard]

Sold off

Kaur said that she later learnt that Jagjit had sold off one of the properties she gave him for Sh17.5 million and transferred the second property for Sh19.5 million.

She denied that she has developed senility that has contributed to her second son, Tejinder, dealing in the assets of her husband.

She said that she had completed the administration and distribution of the Gurumukh Sing’s estate in accordance with his will and there was nothing remaining to administer and distribute.

She further said that she does not receive any Sh1.5 million monthly rents from two properties because she had freely transferred them to her son, Tejinder, and that Jajgit never worked at Pandhal Furniture Manufacturers.

Kaur said the gazette notice dated April 30, 2009 was published notifying all her children that she had filed a petition for a grant of probate authorising her to manage her husband’s estate according to his will.

Gazette notice

She said the gazette notice notified her siblings that any objections to the will were to be lodged in court within 30 days from the filing, which Jagjit failed to do.

Jajgit’s brother, Tejinder, said his mother was fully in her senses and aware of the dealings that she has carried out with the assets inherited from her husband.

“The applicant (Jagjit) is deliberately misleading the court in order to enrich himself financially without any regard for my late father’s wishes,” said Tejinder.

He said Jagjit was not entitled to any income from two rental properties and denied that these generate Sh1.5 million per month.

Tejinder said his brother voluntarily moved out of their Nyali home to stay with his wife in Spain.