SC reserves order on plea against Singh brothers

Supreme Court of India.

New Delhi, ┬áThe Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on a contempt plea filed by Japanese pharma company Daiichi Sankyo against the Ranbaxy’s Singh brothers over non-payment of Rs 3,500 crore in an international arbitration award.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it will decide on the issue of ‘contempt of court’ only.

Senior advocate Fali Nariman appearing for Daiichi told the SC that former Ranbaxy promoter Malvinder Singh had given an undertaking in the Delhi High Court that the value of their “unencumbered assets” was Rs 452 crore.

Nariman said the Delhi HC-appointed valuer had prepared two reports. Counsel for Malvinder Singh told the court that the enforcement proceedings against them are still pending before the HC, and that all the bank accounts have already been frozen by the court. His counsel said it is a civil contempt case, and Malvinder hasn’t violated any court order.

Shivinder Singh, brother of Malvinder, through his counsel, told the court the current contempt emerges for not following an interim order. During the hearing, Malvinder presenting his point regarding the allegations of violating restraint on dealing with Fortis shares, said: “I didn’t violate restraint on dealing with Fortis’ shares, Indiabulls did that.”

On March 14, the apex court had asked the two to submit a concrete plan for repaying the Japanese firm in consultation with their accountants and financial/legal advisors and then inform the court on April 5. But, the bench noticed that no payback plan has been put in place.

Malvinder’s counsel had told the court that they have been duped and “nearly Rs 6,300 crore has been siphoned”.