The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered former Fortis Healthcare promoters and estranged brothers Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh to explain how they plan to pay the the Rs 3,500 crore it owes Daiichi Sankyo, Bar and Bench reported.
The estranged brothers were heirs to the Ranbaxy Laboratories business. They owe around Rs 3,500 crore to Daiichi Sankyo after a Singaporean tribunal found them guilty of luring the Japanese drug maker to purchase Ranbaxy by withholding information. Sun Pharmaceuticals eventually purchased Ranbaxy from Daiichi Sankyo for $3.2 billion.
Fali S Nariman, representing Daiichi, said that Malvinder Singh is attempting to clear the dues but that Shivinder Singh claimed he had “renounced the world become a saint”.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi told Shivinder Singh that his decision to renounce the world is irrelevant to the court. “You are telling us that you have nothing to do with business anymore and that your brother is looking after it since you have renounced the world,” Gogoi said. “If you have a debt to pay, your renouncing the world wouldn’t matter to us.”
When Shivinder Singh’s lawyer PS Patwalia said his client had “come back to the world in December 2017”, Gogoi said: “Oh! That’s good. Now that your lawyer says you have come back to the world, start thinking about money.”
The court asked the estranged brothers to submit a plan by March 28, NDTV reported. “You were the flagbearers of the pharmacare industry and it does not look good that you are appearing in court,” the bench said. “Hopefully, it will be the last time you are appearing in the court”.
The feud between the brothers began after they lost control of Fortis Healthcare and Religare Enterprises Ltd. In October, the Securities and Exchange Board of India ordered the Singhs and eight firms related to them to pay Rs 403 crore to Fortis after an inquiry found they had fraudulently diverted funds from Fortis and misrepresented financial statements.
In September 2018, Shivinder Singh moved the National Company Law Tribunal against Malvinder Singh, accusing him of oppression and mismanagement. Shivinder Singh also sought action against Sunil Godhwani, a former Religare Enterprises chairperson. He claimed that his brother and Godhwani ran the family business into the ground while he was on a hiatus in 2015.
In December 2018, Malvinder Singh accused his brother of physical assault.