Daiichi-Ranbaxy row: High Court allows sale of Singh brothers’ firms

The Delhi High Court today allowed the sale of unencumbered shares of the firms of former promoters of India’s Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd in listed companies to repay the Rs 3,500 crore arbitration award in favour of Japanese pharma major Daiichi Sankyo.

Justice Jayant Nath also directed the debtors to fully cooperate with the chartered accountant (CA), who was appointed a local commissioner in the matter, to sell these shares at the stock exchange.

The court said the proceeds should be deposited with the registrar general of the High Court and listed the matter for further hearing on May 14.

The order came after the CA submitted a report on May 8 giving the list of shares of the Singh brothers — Malvinder and Shivinder, their family members and firms including RHC Holding Pvt Ltd and Oscar Investments Ltd, in listed companies.

“The local commissioner/CA is directed to sell the entire lot of unemcumbered shares of the respondents, other than respondent number 1 (Malvinder Singh) in listed companies,” the high court said.

The counsel for the Singh brothers told the court that the Debt Recovery Tribunal had ordered a stay on the sale of unencumbered assets of Malvinder Singh in a separate case by the Yes Bank. The high court then sent a notice to the Yes Bank seeking its response.

The court also issued notice to Daiichi on a plea by the brothers seeking a stay on the enforcement proceedings, as a Singapore court has reserved its judgment in an appeal by them against Daiichi’s award.

Singh brothers’ advocate said the judgment of the Singapore court was expected in June and the proceedings to enforce the award here should be stayed till then.

The Delhi High Court had earlier ordered the attachment of all unencumbered assets of RHC Holdings Pvt Ltd and Oscar Investments Pvt Ltd.

A Singapore tribunal had in April 2016 passed the award in Daiichi’s favour holding that the brothers had concealed information that their company was facing probe by the US Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Justice, while selling its shares.

The high court on January 31 had upheld the international arbitral award passed in the favour of Daiichi and paved the way for enforcement of the 2016 tribunal award against the brothers who had sold their shares in Ranbaxy to Daiichi in 2008 for Rs 9,576.1 crore. Sun Pharmaceuticals Ltd had later acquired the company from Daiichi.

It had however said that the award was not enforceable against five minors, who were also shareholders in Ranbaxy, saying they cannot be held guilty of having perpetuated a fraud either themselves or through any agent.

Daiichi had moved the high court here seeking direction to the brothers to take steps towards paying its Rs 3,500 crore arbitration award, including depositing the amount. It had also urged the court to attach their assets, which may be used to recover the award.

On February 16, the Supreme Court had dismissed Singh brothers’ appeal against the high court verdict upholding the international arbitral award.

Singhs’ counsel had argued that the award granted consequential damages which were beyond the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal and the award cannot be enforced under the provision of the Arbitration Act.

They had claimed that Daiichi was fully aware of all facts and still chose to retain the Ranbaxy shares, instead of terminating the agreement and returning them.

Land for schools being alloted by DDA: AAP government to HC

delhi high courtThe AAP government which had informed Delhi High Court it was exploring possibilities to allot land for a minority school which has been functioning from tents since its demolition 40 years ago during Emergency, has now said allotment of land would be done by the DDA.

The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath, during hearing of a plea that despite promises of land and building, nothing was done and the school continued to function in a “tattered, tented and tinned structure, without a building” since 1976.
“The allotment of land for institutional purpose including schools is done by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA)…The court may issue appropriate direction to DDA,” Delhi government has said in its affidavit.

DDA on the other hand told the court that in “accordance with a gazette notification of April 19, 2006, issued by the Ministry of Urban Development, at present the land for schools can be got through auction nly.”

The Delhi government’s response came in the backdrop of the court’s notice issued on a PIL seeking reconstruction of the building of the minority school.

The PIL filed by civil activist Firoz Bakht Ahmed contended the state of affairs at the Qaumi School was “sad and pitiable” as it was functioning from the grounds of the Eidgah at Quresh Nagar in Old Delhi after its building was demolished on June 30, 1976, during Emergency.

The PIL has contended that children from the “down-trodden and backward class have to suffer due to threats of closure, makeshift classrooms, leaking roofs and no proper facilities.

“A hostile and inclement environment can hardly be conducive for learning. With competition at the school leaving board examinations reaching stupendous proportions, children from such schools are placed at a huge disadvantage from the very inception of their schooling life,” the plea has said.

It has also said the state was under obligation to provide infrastructure including a school building and the civic authorities have failed to discharge the statutory onus.

Lawyers seek dates in HC in accordance with their vehicle no.

The Delhi High Court today faced a peculiar situation when advocates appearing in various matters sought particular dates owing to the AAP governments proposed odd-even numbers vehicle policy. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath was surprised when a lawyer appearing for a petitioner requested the court to give her an even number date instead of January 19 date given to her.

“Can I request the bench to give me an even number date as I am being given January 19 date. I have a one car family which has an even number registration,” advocate Vaishalee Mehra said.

 

The requested prompted the bench to smile and it acceded to the counsels request and changed the date of hearing of her matter to January 18.

A similar situation again happened before the same bench when a lawyer said that he will have to buy two cars to appear in his matters due to different odd and even dates of hearing.

The bench had earlier in the morning refused to pass any interim direction on the PILs filed against AAP governments plan to restrict plying of private vehicles from January 1 to combat pollution, saying it was too early to pass an order.

It had termed the PILs as “premature” and said, “The Delhi government has proposed an idea, which is to be implemented from January 1, 2016, on trial basis for 15 days, so let them (Delhi government) try it.” PTI

Ensure funds to combat Dengue are utilised properly : HC to govt

Delhi High Court today directed AAP government to “supervise and ensure” that the grant-in-aid given to the municipal corporations to combat diseases like dengue is properly utilised.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath also directed all concerned departments and civic agencies of Delhi government to cooperate with each other to “prevent and control” such vector-borne diseases.

The directions were issued by the bench while disposing of a petition of Congress leader Ajay Maken who had contended that failure and delay in controlling the disease has caused much damage to public life and health in Delhi.

The court, while issuing the directions, said other grievances raised in the plea have already been addressed.

Maken in his plea had prayed for a direction to all public and private hospitals not to refuse treatment to any patient on account of monetary conditions or any such reason. He had also sought that in case of any misconduct by a hospital, heavy penalty be imposed by the court.

The court on September 29 had said it will issue immediate directions to control the outbreak of dengue in the city.

The court has kept two similar PILs pending, including one seeking direction to lodge an FIR against directors of hospitals which denied treatment to a seven-year-old boy who died of dengue and whose parents subsequently committed suicide.

The plea seeking lodging of FIR was filed by law student Gauri Grover contending that the boy died due to the callous attitude of hospitals.

Another plea, filed by advocate Arpit Bhargava, has sought directions to the city government to take steps to combat dengue, claiming that funds were released by it only after 23 people, including children, had died.

Earlier, the Delhi government had informed the court that it has released the second instalment of the grant-in-aid under the Dengue and Malaria Control Programme, subject to certain conditions, to all the Municipal Corporations here.

Advocates Aman Panwar and Mudit Gupta, representing Maken, had told the court that “it was extremely unfortunate” that Delhi government had released funds only after several casualties were reported and this court had intervened. They had said the funds should have been released much earlier, that is before the monsoon season.

HC seeks govt reply on PIL against overloaded trucks on roads

Delhi High Court today sought the response of the city government and traffic police on a PIL seeking that commercial trucks, which are loaded beyond capacity, should not be allowed to ply on the roads of the national capital.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath issued notice to the Delhi government, its transport authority and the Deputy Commissioner of Traffic seeking their replies on the petition which has alleged that overloaded trucks are allowed to run on city roads in connivance with the traffic police.The-Most-Overloaded-Truck-2

“Issue notice… File your counter on steps you have taken with regard to the issue raised in the writ petition,” the bench said and listed the matter for further hearing on November 23.

Delhi government counsel Piyush Kalra, meanwhile, told the court that the National Green Tribunal was already hearing a similar matter and has issued several directions.

He also told the court that more than 5000 overloaded trucks have been impounded by the authorities.

The PIL by Dev Dutt Sharma has claimed that the trucks carrying goods are loaded more than twice the capacity permitted in their registration certificates and thus damaging the roads, increasing pollution and causing accidents.

‘Except for police, public order & land, LG a figurehead’

The Lieutenant Governor (LG) is merely a “figurehead” except for matters related to public order, police and land, the AAP government has told Delhi High Court.

The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath by senior advocate Dayan Krishnan during the hearing of a bunch of petitions on the powers of the LG, Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) as well as the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) set up by the Delhi government to probe into the alleged CNG fitness scam.

“Except for the three exceptions (public order, police and land), LG is only a figurehead,” Krishnan said, while referring to the Constitution.

He also said that under the Constitution, aid and advice by council of ministers means the LG or Governor “was bound” by their decision except where he has discretionary powers.

While one of the petitions has been filed by the Delhi government challenging the Centre’s notifications on the powers of the ACB and LG, others, including one by the Union government, have been filed against setting up of the CoI.

The city government has also challenged a September 17 memorandum issued by LG Najeeb Jundelhi high courtg directing all officers not to follow the AAP government’s orders which were declared “null and void” by the Union government.

The memorandum has also stated that officers would face strict action for non-compliance with the LG’s order.

The court on Wednesday had decided to club all the matters together and carry out regular hearing on the issues raised in them.

It had also directed the Centre and the Delhi government, in the interim, to not precipitate matters by taking “coercive steps” against each other and their officials in connection with the issues raised in the petitions.

The court had directed the Centre not to take any coercive measures in regard to the September 17 memorandum and had restrained the city government from taking any coercive steps in connection with the CoI proceedings in the CNG fitness scam

HC directs Kingfisher to pay dues of Rs 52.61 lakh to pilot

Kingfisher Airlines LtdKingfisher Airlines Ltd has been directed by the Delhi High Court to pay Rs 52.61 lakh to a pilot towards her outstanding salary and other dues from August 2012 to April 2014.

Justice Jayant Nath directed the now defunct airline to pay the pilot Rs 52,61,450 with nine per cent interest from the date of filing till recovery of the amount as well as cost of litigation.

The court passed the order as none appeared on behalf of the grounded carrier despite serving of summons of judgment.

It referred to a 2011 letter sent to the pilot by which her salary was revised to Rs 2.24 lakh per month, and said the communication was a written contract.

It also observed that in the case of other pilots of the airline in similar situations, the high court had decreed the suits in their favour.

“It is stated that the plaintiff (pilot) has not been paid a salary since August 2012 till April 31, 2014 amounting to a total of Rs 47,04,000 in addition including the provident fund and gratuity the total amount is Rs 52,61,450.

“Defendant (Kingfisher Airline) has failed to enter appearance pursuant to service of summons of judgment. The suit is accordingly decreed for the said sum of Rs 52,61,450 with costs. Plaintiff shall also be entitled to pendent lite interest of nine per cent per annum from the date of filing of the suit till recovery,” the court said.

The pilot had worked for Deccan Aviation Ltd since 2007 and in 2011 the airline had merged with Kingfisher. From 2011 onwards she was a regular employee of Kingfisher Airlines.

The airline had shut its operations from Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata in 2012 and she was relocated to Delhi.

She alleged in her plea, filed through advocate Mohan Krishna Ghosh, that the airline “created a false impression” regarding its revival and thus she had worked for more than 21 months without salary because of which she “heavily suffered” both professionally and financially.

“Despite various oral and written reminders, personal visits and follow up the defendant has failed and neglected to make the outstanding payment, which is due and payable to the plaintiff, in utter disregard and breach of its obligation and promises,” the plea said.

HC to hear Jindal’s plea against news on ‘sexual assault’

The Delhi High Court on Friday posted for hearing on January 19 a plea by Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal seeking a direction to restrain the media from airing the news relating to alleged sexual assault case against him and his associates.

A bench of Justice Jayant Nath issued a notice to a private news channel which was allegedly broadcasting the report on it.

The court said it has to go through the response of the news channel and the matter cannot be taken up hurriedly as a comprehensive order has to be passed after a detail hearing.

“I will have to pass a comprehensive order. I will do it on Monday (January 19),” the judge said and
refused to restrain various media houses from publishing the news relating to the alleged assault.
“Anyway, it (news related to the allegation) has been going since January 6. Let it go on,” the court said.

The court was hearing an injunction petition filed by Naveen Jindal seeking a direction to TV channels and print media from publishing the jindal.

 

Our financial records open to public, AAP to court

kejriwalThe Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Saturday told the Delhi High Court that it is the only party whose all financial records and other details are open for public view.

Filing its response in the court on a plea questioning its source of funds, the AAP urged the court to direct a thorough investigation of the funding sources, including foreign funding received by the Congress and the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), claiming these parties have received thousands of crores of donations from unknown sources.

A division bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Jayant Nath had asked the AAP to file its response on a public interest litigation seeking a criminal case against former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and others for allegedly receiving foreign funds in violation of the law.

Earlier, the court had directed the central government to go through the details of money donated to AAP since its inception Nov 26, 2012 and to take action if anything was found in violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).

In its response, the AAP said that party received small amounts in donation and claimed it has the most transparent method of political funding among all parties.

“AAP is a new party formed in November 2012 and it is relatively much smaller to all the mainstream parties. AAP is also a party with a very small amount of funds, and also the most transparent method of political funding amongst all parties.

“It is the only party whose all financial records, and the names of each & every donor is on its website, open for public view,” its affidavit said.

As far as the AAP is concerned, it takes donation online through its website, through cheques, drafts, or by cash, the affidavit said adding that the website of the AAP clearly states that as per Indian law, only people with Indian citizenship can donate to a political party.

“The party has received about Rs.30.50 crore (approx) amount of donation at the time of drafting this affidavit, out of which about Rs.8.50 crore (approx) amount is from Non-Resident Indians. AAP has not taken any money which was not clearly marked for AAP. No money has been taken from the money collected during Anna Hazare movement, or the funds collected in the name of India against Corruption,” it added.

The affidavit also stated that all those donating to AAP have to state that they are Indian citizens and giving money out of their own earnings. “For all donors who are not resident in India, they must give their valid Indian passport numbers before they can make a donation. All bank drafts without proper identification of donors are returned. Each donor is given a receipt of donation.”

The central government had earlier told the court that the party and its members have not provided information sought on its source of party funds. However, AAP said that the party has replied to government’s notices and provided the necessary details and also stated that it takes donations from Indian citizens and Indian companies only.

The party also furnished the necessary details as sought by the government about some bank account details of AAP, the affidavit said.

“The central Government has not been able to find anything in contravention of the FCRA despite trying its level best,” it said.

Seeking dismissal of the plea, the AAP termed the allegations in the petition are scandalous, frivolous, motivated and baseless.The case will come up for hearing Feb 28.

(Source: IANS)

HC seeks AAP response on funding

delhi-high-courtThe Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to file its response on a plea questioning its source of funds. A division bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Jayant Nath asked the AAP to file a reply by Feb 28.
Appearing for AAP, advocate Prashant Bhushan told the court that centre has given misleading statements before the court that the party has not furnished the details of its accounts. However, these details have already been given to the government, he added.
“A lot of misleading statements were made on behalf of central government that AAP has not responded to any notice,” Bhushan said. Additional Solicitor General Rajeeve Mehra objected to the arguments of Bhushan and said he was misquoted.
The government had earlier told the court that it had written twice to the party to ascertain the source of its funds but the AAP has not responded. Advocate M.L. Sharma, who filed the PIL, said that AAP was continuing to collect money.
Earlier, the court had directed the central government to go through the details of money donated to AAP since its inception Nov 26, 2012 and to take action if anything was found in violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).
The court was hearing a public interest litigation seeking a criminal case against AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others for allegedly receiving foreign funds in violation of the law. Petitioner Sharma also sought seizure of accounts and funds secured by AAP members.
“A direction to be issued to register a criminal case against the respondents (AAP members) under the FCRA and conduct of day-to-day trial proceedings with the supervision of the court, in the interest of justice,” the plea said, naming Kejriwal, advocates Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan and Delhi Minister Manish Sisodia.
The plea said the FCRA prohibits funding from foreign countries for a political party. However, Prashant Bhushan contended that “the petition is malafide”.

(Source: INAS)