New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday expressed dissatisfaction at replies filed by the Singh brothers, the former promoters of Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, on the non-payment of the ₹3,500 crore arbitration award to Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo Inc. and said it will send them to jail if they violate the contempt order.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it will now hear a contempt plea against the Singh brothers—Malvinder and Shivinder—for non-payment of the arbitration award. The hearing is fixed for 11 April.
“We will go ahead with contempt proceedings and send the ex-Ranbaxy promoters to jail if there is order violation," the top court said.
The apex court had, in its 14 March hearing, asked the Singh brothers to submit a concrete plan for paying ₹3,500 crore to Daiichi Sankyo as directed by a Singapore tribunal. The Supreme Court had sought explanations from the Singh brothers on why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them.
However, the apex court said, nothing concrete has come forth and it would, therefore, hear the contempt petition. If it finds them guilty of contempt, it would send them to jail, the top court said.
Malvinder Singh submitted that the group had approximately ₹6,300 crore, of which the majority is owed to them by Gurinder Singh Dhillon of Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) and his entities. He said that the group had other companies and real estate assets, which could be sold to realize the value.
“You could own half the world but you cannot satisfy your creditors by simply telling them you own half the world. Tell us the value of your assets and how the award will be secured," Gogoi said.
Shivinder told the court that after evaluation of all the assets of the operational companies, the current value of these assets would be around ₹900 crore if liquidated. The value was far higher three years ago when the award was handed in favour of Daiichi Sankyo, he told the court. However, he pleaded that if he is allowed to work with Daiichi, he could within a year or two increase the value of the assets to ₹2,000 crore.
“The stay has been granted in response to Daiichi plea that NCLT proceedings initiated by Religare Finvest against some of judgment debtors and garnishee companies would impede recovery of Daiichi’s dues and impose moratorium on execution proceeding," said Amit Mishra, partner at P&A law offices that represents Daiichi Sankyo.