A court in Delhi on Friday sent former Ranbaxy promoters Shivinder Singh, his elder brother Malvinder Singh and three others to four days in police custody in a Rs 740 crore fraud case, ANI reported. The other accused in the case are Kavi Arora, Sunil Godhwani and Anil Saxena.

The five persons were accused of cheating and diverting funds of Religare Finvest Limited. They were arrested by the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police on Thursday.

Malvinder Singh had approached the Delhi High Court hours before his arrest, and sought to cancel the first information report filed against him, PTI reported. He argued that the Economic Offences Wing does not have the jurisdiction to probe the case. Singh said the case can only be investigated by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office and urged the court to stay the proceedings initiated by the police.

The Economic Offences Wing opposed the application, saying that the Serious Fraud Investigation Office was only given the mandate to investigate Religare Enterprises Limited and Fortis Healthcare and a fresh notification would have to be issued by the Centre to allow it to probe Religare Finvest Limited. The counsel for the Serious Fraud Investigation Office backed the contentions of the Economic Offences Wing.

The Delhi High Court reserved its order on whether to issue notice to the police on Malvinder Singh’s plea to quash the FIR against him.

The case

In December 2018, Religare Finvest filed a criminal complaint with the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police against the Singh brothers. A case was filed against the brothers in May.

The Singh brothers were heirs to Ranbaxy Laboratories, which was founded by their father. They sold it to Japanese firm Daiichi Sankyo in 2008 and focused on the family-owned Fortis Healthcare. However, Daiichi Sankyo is now seeking to recover Rs 3,500 crore from the brothers, after a Singaporean tribunal found them guilty of luring the Japanese drug maker to purchase Ranbaxy in 2008 by withholding information. Sun Pharmaceuticals eventually purchased Ranbaxy from Daiichi Sankyo for $3.2 billion.

In February 2018, Malvinder and Shivinder Singh resigned as directors from the board of Fortis Healthcare after the Delhi High Court order upheld the Rs 3,500 crore arbitral award in favour of Daiichi Sankyo.

In September 2018, Shivinder Singh moved the National Company Law Tribunal against Malvinder Singh, accusing him of oppression and mismanagement. In December 2018, Malvinder Singh accused his brother of physical assault.

In March, the Supreme Court had asked the brothers to inform it of how they plan to comply with the order passed by the Singapore tribunal. One of the brothers told the court that his assets could be sold and that he is yet to receive dues of Rs 6,300 crore.

In April, the top court warned the brothers that they would be jailed if found guilty of contempt.

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