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SC asks 17 lenders to explain Fortis Healthcare’s stake sale

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New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday directed 17 lenders, banks and financial institutions to explain the share sale by Fortis Healthcare’s former promoters Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh.

Passing a slew of directions, a bench comprising Justices U.U. Lalit, Indira Banerjee and K.M. Joseph said: “We direct all the noticee banks and financial institutions: – (a) to place on record the basic documents pertaining to loans advanced or financial accommodations extended in respect of which the shares of FHL were pledged with them; (b) to place on record the nature of securities offered in connection with such loan arrangements.”

The top court also asked the lenders to place on record the details of the encumbered and unencumbered shares of Fortis Healthcare Ltd (FHL) standing in the name of Fortis Healthcare Holding Private Ltd (FHHPL), held by them in September 2016, as well as details of encumbered and unencumbered shares of FHL standing in the name of FHHPL, held by them on August 11, 2017.

“… to give details of shares of FHL standing in the name of FHHPL, sold by banks/financial institutions from January 2017; (g) to disclose whether such encumbrance created after August 11, 2017 was in pursuance of any fresh arrangement or agreement and, if so, the details of such agreement/arrangement,” the top court directed the lenders.

The lenders were also told to disclose whether under such agreement/arrangement any other security was given by the pledgers.

The top court will further hear the matter on February 24.

It also declined to entertain submissions from a bank that the role of banks had already been examined by another bench when Singh brothers were convicted for contempt of court on November 15, 2019 for selling their stakes despite restraining orders.

The Singh brothers have been accused by Daiichi Sankyo and lenders of collusion which led to sale of Fortis Healthcare’s shares to IHH Berhad despite assurances to the court to not alienate stakes.

Daiichi had claimed that Fortis Healthcare had availed a loan of Rs 350 crore from banks. The proceeds were diverted to a subsidiary company and then, disappeared.

“It was submitted that the banks/financial institutions had intervened in the matters pending before this Court, that they were definitely aware of the Award granted in favour of M/s Daiichi Sankyo Company Ltd; and that the role of banks and financial institutions would, therefore, require closer scrutiny,” noted the top court.



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