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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

SC to Fortis ex-promoters: How do you plan to secure Daiichi’s Rs 3,500 crore award?

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi asked the brothers to give a concrete plan on how they would comply with the tribunal’s order.

Written by Prabha Raghavan | New Delhi | Updated: March 15, 2019 12:13:20 am
Group chairman of Fortis and Religare Ent Malvinder Mohan Singh and Fortis MD Shivinder M Singh. (File)

The Supreme Court Thursday told former Fortis promoters Malvinder and Shivinder Singh to consult with financial and legal advisors and explain to court on March 28 how they plan to secure Daiichi Sankyo’s Rs 3,500 crore arbitration award against them.

In the meantime, the court’s orders to maintain status quo in Malaysian healthcare firm IHH Bhd’s deal to acquire majority stake in Fortis Healthcare remains.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi Thursday asked the Singhs to explain how they wish to secure Daiichi’s award and suggested that, with “so many ups and downs” occurring with the Singhs and companies controlled by them, the court wanted the award to be secured.

Shivinder Singh had submitted an affidavit stating that he had “become a sadhu”, while elder brother Malvinder had stated on affidavit that he had “bona fide” wishes to pay the award money, Fali Nariman, counsel for Daiichi, told the court Thursday.

“Tell us, are you not obliged…to secure the award?” the chief justice asked the brothers, adding that it was not as much a question of money, but instead one of “honour”.

He told the Singhs to “reflect” on how they would pay the award amount by looking into their accounts and consulting with their legal and financial advisors before appearing in court in two weeks’ time, as any of their submissions in court would be recorded and could be used against them.

“This is the first time you are coming to the Supreme Court. Let’s hope next time is the last time,” he said.

Daiichi is currently enforcing the award, won in Singapore in 2016, against the brothers for allegedly concealing information regarding wrongdoing at Ranbaxy when selling the drug maker to it in 2008. It had moved a contempt petition against the brothers at the apex court last year and also to block IHH from completing its deal to acquire up to 57% stake in Fortis Healthcare, claiming that the transaction would prevent it from realising its award.

While IHH has already acquired 31.1 per cent of this stake, the court in December 2018 stalled its open offer to acquire the remaining 26 per cent.

Meanwhile, the brothers have also been locked in a tussle against each other, with each blaming the other for fraudulent transactions and siphoning of funds from Fortis and other companies controlled by them.

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