The Supreme Court on Monday gave an extra day to former Ranbaxy promoters Malvinder and Shivinder Mohan Singh to meet their lawyers and come up with a definite payment plan by March 6 on how they would like to discharge their liability. Earlier, the brothers were given time till March 5 for coming with an appropriate plan in the contempt case for enforcement of Rs 3,500-crore arbitration award filed by Japanese pharma major Daiichi Sankyo against them.
While stating that they are doing their best to come up with a “concrete proposal”, the brothers also informed a bench led by justice Deepak Gupta that visits to their lawyers’ office “were very productive and useful in shaping up” the proposal. However, some important parts of the proposal still need to be discussed and finalised, they said, adding that they need one to two more visits to their counsels’ office. The court will hear the case on March 16.
The bench had earlier on February 3 observed that it does not want to punish people if there was a scope for recovery and that every opportunity should be given to retrieve the money. To facilitate the recovery, it granted two sessions of four hours each for the Singh brothers to visit their lawyers’ offices. It also asked Daiichi and Fortis Healthcare (FHL) to reply to the Sebi’s plea on allowing Malaysian operator IHH Healthcare to proceed with an open offer to acquire up to 19.70 lakh shares in the hospital chain.
The lawyers had then informed the apex court that a suo motu contempt proceedings have been filed against the Singh brothers and Fortis Healthcare, for having wilfully violated its December 14, 2018, order by which it had put on hold the sale of controlling stake (31%) in FHL to IHH Healthcare for Rs 4,000 crore.
The Singh brothers, who are currently lodged in Tihar jail, appeared before the Bench in connection with the contempt case filed by Daiichi. Both the brothers are in judicial custody in connection with the case filed by Religare FinVest— an arm of Religare Enterprises — for allegedly causing a wrongful loss worth Rs 2,397 crore.
The Supreme Court on November 15 last year had held the brothers guilty of contempt for violating its earlier orders that had restrained them from divesting their shares in Fortis Healthcare.
However, it gave them one more chance to purge themselves of the contempt if each of them deposited Rs 1,170.95 crore within eight weeks. It also said that the brothers would be heard later on the quantum of sentence.