Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh have run out of legal options in India to avoid paying a 35-billion rupee ($546 million) award to Daiichi Sankyo Co. after the Supreme Court dismissed their appeal against a lower court verdict. The top court’s decision on Friday means the only way left for the brothers to escape the liability is to pursue their challenge to the original ruling in Singapore. The Delhi High Court last month said the Singapore tribunal’s award was enforceable in India. “We can only say: wish you all the best for Singapore,” Justice Ranjan Gogoi said when delivering the two-judge panel’s verdict.
The top court’s decision sets up the endgame in a legal saga that started in 2012 when Daiichi initiated the Singapore proceedings with allegations the brothers concealed key information in the 2008 sale of their generic drug company. RHC Holding Pvt., the brothers’ main holding company, said it’s disappointed by the verdict and reiterated there was no misrepresentation or concealment in the deal, according to an emailed statement. The ruling “clears the way” for the award to be executed and for Daiichi to recover the money, Amit Misra of P&A Law Office, which represents the Japanese company in the case, said in a statement.
Shares of Fortis Healthcare Ltd., a hospital operator in which the brothers have a 34 percent stake, fell 4 percent as of 3:27 p.m. in Mumbai. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.9 percent. In 2008, the Singhs agreed to sell their family firm Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. to Daiichi for $4.6 billion. That same year the U.S. Department of Justice started a probe, eventually resulting in a guilty plea by Ranbaxy and a fine for selling adulterated drugs. In 2016 the Singapore tribunal ruled the brothers had concealed and misrepresented critical information about the probe.