Singapore Apex Court Orders Former Promoters of Ranbaxy to Pay an Award of Rs 3,500 Crore

On May 28, the Supreme Court of Singapore dismissed the appeal of former promoters of Ranbaxy – Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh; against the judgment of the High Court of Singapore. The Supreme Court refused to set aside Rs 3,500-crore arbitral award in favor of Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo. Notably, Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium, representing Daiichi Sankyo, became the first Indian to appear before the Singapore Supreme Court (Court of Appeal).

To elaborate, in the year 2008  Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. bought a 34.82% stake held by the Singh brothers in Ranbaxy. However, in 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered Ranbaxy to make a payment of $500 million; in settlement for an investigation initiated before Daiichi’s takeover. Daiichi remained unaware of the pending investigations. Subsequently, he initiated an arbitral proceeding against the Singh Brothers.

Furthermore, on April 29, 2016, the Arbitral Tribunal held the promoters liable to pay damages for the harm suffered by Daiichi. Later, the Singh Brothers challenged the award in India. However, the Delhi High Court rejected the appeal and held that the award remains enforceable. Consequently, they challenged the order before the Indian Supreme Court. Nonetheless, the Bench comprising Justice Gogoi and Justice Banumathi dismissed the SLP; stating the bench was “not inclined to interfere” with the impugned judgment.

Explicitly, the award was also challenged before the High Court of Singapore; which upheld the award of Singapore seated ICC arbitral tribunal in favour of Daiichi Sankyo. Thereafter, the Supreme Court of Singapore also upheld the order of the High Court of Singapore. Consequently, the Apex Court asked Singh brothers to give it a plan; as to how they would consider the arbitral award of Rs 3,500 crore granted by a Singapore tribunal.

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