The Supreme Court bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi on Friday said it would hear the contempt petition against former Ranbaxy owners Malvinder and Shivinder Singh on April 11. The court also said if the Singh brothers were found guilty, they would be sent to jail. Dissatisfied over the replies filed by former Ranbaxy promoters, the SC bench said, "You may be owning half of the world but there is no concrete plan as to how the arbitral amount would be realised. You said that somebody owed you Rs 6,000 crore. But this is neither here nor there."
The SC on March 14 had asked Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh to submit a concrete plan for paying Rs 3,500 crore to Daiichi Sankyo as directed by a Singapore tribunal. The SC bench said it would now straightaway hear the contempt petition against the Singh brothers for non-payment of arbitral award amount to Japanese firm Daiichi Sankyo and "send them to jail" if violation of its orders was established.
The bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, has now fixed the contempt petition of the Japanese firms against the former Ranbaxy promoters for hearing on April 11. During the hearing the court asked the Singh brothers about their plans to repay the amount. "We want to secure the amount. How are you planning to do it?" reported Bar & Bench. The brothers said they were sceptical about the value of the operation companies as they would only fetch around Rs 900 crore if liquidated.
Meanwhile, Shivinder sought permission from the SC to take over the group and promised to increase the company's net worth from Rs 900 crore to Rs 2,000 crore in two-three years.
Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh had lost an appeal filed before a Singapore court in Daiichi Sankyo arbitration case in December 2018 where they had argued against the $500 million (Rs 3,500 crore) arbitration award against them. The High Court of Singapore had dismissed the plea to stay a Singapore tribunal arbitration award in favour of Japanese pharmaceutical major and reserved its verdict. Back in 2016, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre had ordered the Singh brothers to pay $500 million for concealing information about alleged suppression of facts at Ranbaxy Laboratories when its shares were sold to Daiichi Sankyo for $4.6 billion in 2008. The case involved some 20 Ranbaxy shareholders who had sold a controlling stake in the multi-national pharmaceutical company to Daiichi.
Manoj Sharma with agency inputs