Sant Singh Chatwal

Sant Singh Chatwal

Sant Singh Chatwal born in 1946 Rawalpindi, Punjab (British India), is an Indian-American businessman, owner of the Bombay Palace chain of restaurants and Hampshire Hotels & Resorts.The son of a small tea stall owner in district courts Faridkot, Punjab claiming to have been a former pilot in the Indian Navy, Chatwal migrated to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where in course of time he became the owner of two restaurants serving Indian cuisine. In 1975, he left the country with some of his savings and opened a restaurant in Montreal, Canada, where he created a new cuisine based on a blend of French and Indian elements. Chatwal is close to former US President Bill Clinton and his family, and has made substantial financial donations to his election campaigns, as well as to other causes and campaigns of the Democratic Party, with many of whose prominent representatives he is on good terms. He has accompanied the Clintons on several journeys to India, and is a Trustee of the William J. Clinton Foundation. Chatwal has defaulted on loans obtained from Indian and US banks including Lincoln Savings, First New York Bank for Business, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India and State Bank of India and filed bankruptcies on false grounds.He was arrested in Mumbai by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with defrauding Indian banks for over US $ 9 million. He was able able to get the bail and he later fled the country but escaped after he was out on bail. Chatwal was awarded the Padma Bhushan by President Pratibha Patil on Jan.26, 2010. Humiliated by the mistakes in awarding Chatwal, government started an investigation into matter to strip him of the award. Concerned citizens also started an line campaign to review the award process. In USA an online petition has been started against Chatwal. Noted Indian journalist Vir Sanghvi has expressed his disappointment over the award and has decided to file a RTI Petition (Right To Information Act) along with noted film maker Pritish Nandy to make the government declare the procedure by which it selects awardees. In February 2010, a federal lawsuit accuses two upscale bar lounges in Sant Singh Chatwal’s Dream Hotel of labor law violations. Workers claim that they are not paid and labor laws are abused. Similar claims were made by workers at other properties too.