NEW DELHI: Adding another twist to an already messy web of allegations and counter-allegations flung at each other by the Singh brothers, the erstwhile promoter-duo of Fortis and Ranbaxy, another company in which they are still nominally listed as promoters, has approached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) seeking the recovery of funds ‘illegally’ diverted from it.
Even as the NCLT accepted Shivinder Singh’s plea to withdraw his suit against his brother Malvinder Singh on Friday, it allowed Religare Enterprises Ltd to move the court to recover funds siphoned from it for the Singh brothers’ holding firm RHC Holdings Pvt Ltd. The NCLT allowed the plea based on Shivinder’s original petition accusing his brother Malvinder and former Religare CEO and MD Sunil Godhwani of ‘oppression and mismanagement’ of their companies. Shivinder had also accused Malvinder of forging his wife Aditi Singh’s signature and of diverting funds from Fortis Healthcare and Religare Enterprises.
While the NCLT allowed Shivinder to withdraw his suit against his brother, it allowed Religare to move it for any recovery proceedings based on the allegations in his earlier petition. According to Shivinder’s earlier petition against Malvinder and Godhwani, he alleged that the two had colluded to divert Rs 750 crore from Religare Finvest Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Religare, and another Rs 473 crore from Fortis Healthcare to RHC Holding Pvt Ltd. Shivinder had also sought an order from NCLT to direct Malvinder “to return the funds unlawfully taken from Fortis Healthcare and Religare Enterprises”.
The two brothers have seen an impressive erosion of capital from their heydays in 2008 when they had received $4.6 billion from the sale of pharmaceutical major Ranbaxy to Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo. Earlier this year, the Delhi High Court had ordered the former Ranbaxy promoters to pay Daiichi Sankyo Rs 3,500 crore as part of the arbitration award earlier this year as restitution for concealing information related to wrongdoing at Ranbaxy. The brothers also lost control of Fortis Healthcare after shareholders approved a proposed $1 billion deal with Malaysian healthcare group IHH Bhd to take over the firm.