Amid Daiichi-Ranbaxy row, Delhi HC restricts sale of 'SRL' trademark

The court had earlier directed for maintaining status quo on the Religare trademark

The Delhi High Court has put a restrain on selling of or creating any third party interest in the 'SRL' trademark after Japanese pharma major Daiichi Sankyo sought to attach and sell it to recover the amount due from former Ranbaxy promoters Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh.

Justice Rekha Palli also sought response of the Singh brothers on Daiichi's plea seeking sale of the SRL and allied trademarks and to restrain Judgment Debtors (Headway Brands Private Limited) from alienating, transferring, selling or in any manner creating any third-party interest in the equity shares or ownership of the firm or any of its assets, including the trademarks associated with 'SRL'.

The high court has been hearing Daiichi's petition seeking the implementation of Rs 3,500 crore Singapore tribunal arbitral award passed in its favour, against the Singh brothers -- former promoters of Fortis Healthcare, in April 2016.

At request of the counsel, the JD nos. 1 (Malvinder) and 6 (Shivinder), who are presently lodged in Tihar Jail, will be permitted to communicate with their respective counsel through video conferencing and the concerned Jail Superintendent will render all necessary assistance in this regard, the court said in its order passed on Wednesday and made available on Thursday.

The Singh brothers are lodged in jail in connection with a case of alleged misappropriation of funds of Religare Finvest Ltd.

The court said, in the meanwhile, keeping in view the fact that this trademark appears to have been assigned after the award was passed on April 29, 2016, M/s Headway Branch Private Ltd is restrained from creating any third party rights in the trademark SRL' assigned to it by JD-19 (RHC Holdings Pvt Ltd) on December 29, 2017 and is directed to maintain status quo with respect to the equity shareholding of JD-19.

The counsel appearing for Daiichi submitted that they have recently learnt of an assignment deed executed by RHC Holding on December 29, 2017, transferring its trademark SRL' in favour of Headway Branch, in which RHC Holding has 99.9 per cent equity.

The application has also sought to appoint a court commissioner for the purpose of carrying out valuation and sale of SRL' and allied trademarks

The court listed the application for further hearing on July 28, when it will also hear another plea filed by Daiichi seeking to attach and sell trademarks of Fortis and Religare.

The court had earlier directed for maintaining status quo on the Religare trademark.

In the earlier application, Daiichi has sought directions to restrain Elive Infotech Pvt Ltd from creating any third party rights in the Religare trademark, attaching equity shareholding of RHC Holdings Pvt Ltd in Elive Infotech Pvt Ltd.

The court had also sought response of Malvinder on another application by Daiichi seeking cancellation of an October 2017 gift deed saying he deliberately gifted a sculpture worth Rs 7.59 crore to his minor daughter after the arbitral award was passed.

A tribunal in Singapore had passed an arbitral award of Rs 3,500 crore in favour of Daiichi and had ordered the Singh brothers to pay the damages for concealing information that their company was facing probe by the US Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Justice while selling its shares.

On 31 January, 2018, the high court had upheld the international arbitral award passed in the favour of Daiichi Sankyo and paved the way for enforcement of the 2016 tribunal award against the brothers who had sold their shares in Ranbaxy to Daiichi Sankyo in 2008 for Rs 9,576.1 crore. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd had later acquired the company from Daiichi Sankyo.

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

Daiichi Sankyo 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 16 February, 2018, the Supreme Court had dismissed the Singh brothers' appeal against the high court verdict upholding the international arbitral award.

The Singh brothers' 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.

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