Rejecting the replies of former Ranbaxy promoters Malvinder and Shivinder Singh to its directive to submit a plan for paying Rs 3,500 crore to Daiichi Sankyo as awarded by a Singapore tribunal, the Supreme Court on Friday threatened to send them to jail if found that they have violated its order. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it will now hear on April 11 the contempt petition by Daiichi against the brothers for non-payment of the arbitral award.
“What we propose to do is that we will hear the contempt petition alleging violation of this court’s order. If we find that there is violation, we will send them to jail,” said the bench, also comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.
It also asked the brothers to be present before the court on the next date of hearing.
“You may be owning half of the world but there is no concrete plan as to how the arbitral amount would be realised. You said that somebody owed you Rs 6,000 crore. But this is neither here nor there,” the bench said after Malvinder during a one-on-one interaction told the court that he is yet to get dues to the tune of Rs 6,000 crore from Gurinder Singh Dhillon, the spiritual head of the Radha Soami Satsang.
“As per RHC accounts, around Rs 6,300 crore in the form of investment and loans have become due. Two instruments worth Rs 2,862 crore matured in 2018. I have compiled a list of unencumbered assets, immovable properties, etc that can be sold to raise the money. I have no idea about what value they will fetch,” Malvinder said, adding that “I have two operating businesses – healthcare chain Fortis Healthcare and another IT company where I have invested. These can be sold”.
He expressed doubt about the valuation of the properties and said that he doesn’t know how much can be raised after selling them.
However, the CJI said: “Of course, you know it. It is not correct that you don’t know about the valuation part. Have you not made any attempt for valuation of your assets? “
The CJI also asked Shivinder, “We want to secure the amount. How are you planning to do it?”
Shivinder said the valuation of his property is around Rs 900 crore and this would not be sufficient to secure the award. “Plan B is if I am allowed to control RHC Holdings itself, the valuation can go up,” he said. Shivinder also offered to work with Daiichi for two years to raise the value of the companies to Rs 2,000 crore in the same period. Senior counsel P S Patwalia who represented Shivinder also said, “money and property has been siphoned away to some Babaji”.
Daiichi senior counsel Fali Nariman alleged that Fortis Healthcare has diverted the sale proceeds it received from IHH to repurchase the assets of RHT Health Trust, Singapore, in which the Singh brothers and other judgement debtors had substantial interest till 2017. Daiichi also said the intention of the brothers is to delay the issue so that they can go into insolvency proceedings.
The apex court stayed the insolvency proceedings filed by the new management of Religare Finvest in the National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai, alleging diversion of Rs 2,257 crore by the brothers. The NCLT has reserved its judgment on the petition against a cluster of 19 companies that are allegedly linked to the brothers.
The SC had last month asked the sparring brothers to bury their hatchet, consult each other and come out with a concrete plan on how they will secure the Rs 3,500-crore Singapore arbitration award.
“You were the flag bearers of the pharma industry and it doesn’t look good that you are appearing in court,” the top court had said last month. It asked the duo to consult their financial and legal advisors and submit the plan by March 28, saying “hopefully it will be the last time you are appearing in the court”. FE