The Supreme Court Thursday asked former Ranbaxy promoters Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh to apprise it how they propose to comply with the Rs 3500 crore arbitral award passed against them by a Singapore tribunal.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the Singh brothers, who were present in the court, to consult their financial and legal advisors and give a concrete plan on how they will comply with the tribunal’s order.
“It is not about individual honour but it doesn’t look good for the country’s honour. You were the flag bearers of the pharmacare industry and it doesn’t look good that you are appearing in court,” the bench also comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said.
The bench asked the Singh brothers to appear before it on March 28 and submit the plan, saying “hopefully it will be the last time you are appearing in the court”.
The apex court was hearing the plea of Japanese firm Daiichi Sankyo which is seeking to recover Rs 3,500 crore, awarded to it by a Singapore tribunal in its case against Malvinder and Shivinder Singh.
The Japanese firm, which has filed the contempt plea against the Singh brothers in the apex court, has said that it was promised some shares of Fortis Healthcare by them.
The apex court had earlier refused to pass any interim order on pleas relating to the sale of controlling stakes of Fortis Healthcare to Malaysian IHH Healthcare Berhad.
The top court, on December 14 last year, had ordered status quo with regard to the sale of controlling stakes of Fortis Healthcare.
“Status quo with regard to sale of the controlling stake in Fortis Healthcare to Malaysian IHH Healthcare Berhad be maintained,” the bench had said.
The top court had also issued notices to the Singh brothers asking them to explain as to why contempt proceedings be not initiated against them for allegedly violating its earlier order by pledging the shares.
The board of Fortis Healthcare had approved in July a proposal from IHH Healthcare to invest Rs 4,000 crore by way of preferential allotment for a 31.1 per cent stake.
The Malaysian IHH Healthcare Bhd became the controlling shareholder of Fortis Healthcare Ltd by acquiring a 31.1 per cent stake in the company.
Daiichi had bought Ranbaxy in 2008. Later, it had moved the Singapore arbitration tribunal alleging that the Singh brothers had concealed information that Ranbaxy was facing probe by the US Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Justice, while selling its shares.
Daiichi had to enter into a settlement agreement with the US Department of Justice, agreeing to pay USD 500 million penalty to resolve potential, civil and criminal liability.
The company had then sold its stake in Ranbaxy to Sun Pharmaceuticals for Rs 22,679 crore in 2015.