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Singh brothers' last hope dashed, Singapore's top court rejects appeal against Rs 3,500 cr arbitral award

legal | IST

Singh brothers' last hope dashed, Singapore's top court rejects appeal against Rs 3,500 cr arbitral award

In a move that marks the end of legal hopes for former Fortis promoters, Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, the Singapore Court of Appeals has dismissed appeals by the duo to challenge a 2016 arbitral award of Rs 3,500 crore against them, and in favor of Japanese drug maker Daiichi.

The Singapore Court of Appeals is the highest court in the country and no further challenge to the order is possible.
In 2008, Daiichi had bought 34.82% stake held by Singh brothers, for a consideration of $2.4 billion. However, unknown to Daiichi, the USFDA had initiated investigations, based on a whistleblower complaint, against Ranbaxy for falsification of data to expedite drug approvals. The investigations culminated in payment of settlement sum of $500 million, in 2011, after the Daiichi takeover.
In 2012, Daiichi initiated arbitration proceedings against Singh brothers, alleging misrepresentation and concealment of facts about the ongoing USFDA investigation. In April of 2016, the arbitration tribunal in Singapore had awarded damages of Rs 3,500 cr in favor of Daiichi, payable by Singh brothers.
Singh brothers, who have been facing execution proceedings in India for payment of Rs 3,500 crore arbitral award, had cited pending challenges in Singapore’s higher courts to stall payment.
Representing Daiichi Sankyo, Managing Partner of P&A Law Offices, Anand Pathank said, “This judgment has brought finality to the appeal proceedings in this case. We can now proceed forward with focused enforcement of the Arbitral Award and to recover for our client, Daiichi Sankyo. This is also the first time the Supreme Court in Singapore has admitted Indian lawyers to argue a matter, and this victory is a great achievement for Daiichi Sankyo, the Indian Bar and for all the lawyers who worked for Daiichi Sankyo in this case.”
Singh Bros are currently in Tihar Jail in New Delhi, on account of a complaint filed by Religare Finvest with the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police, for causing wrongful losses of Rs 2,397 crore.
The Supreme Court has also held the Singh brothers guilty of contempt of court for violating SC orders by diluting stake in Fortis Healthcare. The SC had allowed them to purge contempt by coughing up the sum payable to Daiichi.
Meanwhile, the two are also facing execution proceedings in the Delhi HC, with the October 2019 order directing them to pay the Rs 3,500 crore, as per the arbitral award.
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