In a surprise development, Shivinder Singh, the younger of the two Singh siblings has withdrawn the suit filed before NCLT alleging oppression and mismanagement against elder brother Malvinder Singh and former Religare Group CEO Sunil Godhwani. The development came after intervention by their mother Nimmi Singh, says the withdrawal application. She "has requested both her sons to engage in mediation led by family elders respected by both her sons with a view to them settling inter se issues between them," it says. The withdrawal application comes up for hearing on September 13.
"That out of the respect for their mother, the parties have already started mediation and as per the request of the mediators to constructively progress the mediation, the petitioners wish to withdraw the captioned petition, without prejudice to their rights and contentions," the withdrawal petition filed on 12 September said.
Earlier, on 4 September, Shivinder, his wife Aditi and his holding company Shivi Holdings had approached NCLT Delhi for relief against Malvinder Singh and group holding firm RHC Holding alleging oppression and mismanagement against Malvinder and former Religare CEO Sunil Godhwani.
Former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh had alleged that his elder brother Malvinder forged his wife's signature, perpetrated illegal financial transactions and led the company into an unsustainable debt trap.
The petition also leveled another major charge against Godhwani that he was in de facto control of the group holding company RHC Holding even though he was not an office-bearer there. And that Godhwani and Malvinder allegedly collaborated in managing the transactions. Even though he did not hold any office in RHC Holding Company, it is evident from a perusal of email conversations that he was actually involved in issuing mandatory instructions to the employees and was in fact managing the day-to-day affairs of the RHC Holding in connivance with Malvinder.
The case appeared to be heading into a prolonged legal battle over how the Singh brothers blew Rs 22,500 crore ($3.2 billion) and lost control of prized possessions such as Fortis Healthcare and Religare Enterprises all in less than a decade. From holding cash of Rs 9,576 crore in 2008 to the sale of Ranbaxy Laboratories in 2008, the brothers were in debt of Rs 13,000 crore just eight years later in 2016.