In a major embarrassment for brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, promoters of Fortis Healthcare and Religare Enterprises, the Delhi High Court on Monday ordered attachment of all assets of RHC Holdings and Oscar Investments, the privately held holding companies that own their assets. The court’s order came on the petition of Japanese drug maker Daiichi Sankyo for enforcement of the Rs 3,500-crore international arbitration award that it has won against the brothers. The court also asked the brothers and others to give “up-to-date”details of all their unencumbered assets by March 23, the next date of hearing. As is known, the Singh brothers have lost the appeal against the award, which was passed by a Singapore tribunal, in the Delhi High Court and even the Supreme Court has dismissed their appeal. The assets, which were disclosed to the HC by the two companies in their December 2, 2016, and March 14, 2017, affidavits, include shares, moveable and immovable property, etc.
Justice Jayant Nath also restrained the two companies from operating their bank accounts, except for the purpose of payment of salaries and satisfying their statutory liabilities. However, its earlier order directing the Singh brothers and others to maintain status quo with regard to the remaining “unattached” assets held by them, directly or indirectly, would continue. Earlier, the court had directed the two brothers and 12 others, including their family members and companies, to come up with a plan on how they seek to pay the Rs 3,500-crore amount. Daiichi’s counsel told the bench that the assets held by the two companies should be attached and an attachment officer should take custody of them as per the civil procedure code. The Japanese major had last week argued that it doesn’t have faith over the brothers as they have siphoned off a large amount of money earlier.
Daiichi Sankyo, which had finally exited Ranbaxy in April 2014 by selling its stake to home-grown multinational Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, had filed the arbitration case in 2013 in Singapore. It had accused the Singh brothers of concealment and misrepresentation of facts and sought compensation for losses. Ranbaxy, under the management of Daiichi, had in 2013 paid $500 million to the US department of justice pleading guilty to the charges of felony. In May 2016, Singapore’s arbitration tribunal asked the brothers to pay damages of Rs 2,562.78 crore ($400 million) to Daiichi Sankyo for concealing and misrepresenting information during their stake sale in 2008 to the Japanese firm. With interests and legal fees the payable amount now comes to around Rs 3,500 crore. Daiichi had then moved the Delhi High Court for enforcement of the award to recover the damages from the brothers. However, the brothers challenged the petition.