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Ranbaxy family gulps peace pill

New Delhi, July 31: The family spat over Ranbaxy patriarch Bhai Mohan Singh’s will has finally ended ' amicably.

The warring son and nephews of Bhai Mohan Singh have reached an out-of-court settlement and have agreed to drop a raft of 33 suits against each other over a dispute that goes all the way back to 1993 when Bhai Mohan was forced out of the pharmaceutical company by his eldest son, late Parvinder Singh.

The settlement covers the dispute over the properties at Aurangzeb Road and South End Lane and finally settles ownership of 5 per cent of the Ranbaxy stock that Bhai Mohan Singh claimed was his and Parvinder refused to transfer into his father’s name.

In a press statement issued today, Ranbaxy chief Malvinder Singh, brother Shivinder Singh of Fortis Healthcare and Max Healthcare chairman Analjit Singh said they had arrived at a settlement and had decided to withdraw all cases against each other.

The two sides said they had “reached an amicable and final settlement with respect to all pending litigation, claims and disputes which go back to the early 1990s between Bhai Mohan Singh and Parvinder Singh and his successors.”

Consequently, all disputes and claims relating to Delhi Guest House (which owns the family properties on Aurangzeb Road), disputed Ranbaxy shares, and full acceptance of Bhai Mohan Singh's registered will have been fully resolved, they said.

“All the 33 complaints and suits in various courts are in the process of being withdrawn,” the statement said.

Bhai Mohan Singh had acquired Ranbaxy in 1952 from two cousins ' Ranjit Singh and Gurbax Singh ' when they defaulted on a loan.

The firm, which used to sell medicines under licence from foreign companies, went public in 1973 and became one of the largest pharmaceutical companies. It is best known for Calmpose, a sleeping pill, and Rantac, an anti-ulcer drug that was a generic version of Glaxo’s Zantac, which was the world’s best selling drug in the eighties.

More than the property at Aurangzeb Road, interest was focused on the ownership of the 5 per cent stock in Ranbaxy which Bhai Mohan had willed to Analjit.

Analjit and Bhai Manjit Singh, the second son of Bhai Mohan, who isn’t part of today’s settlement, had left Ranbaxy in 1990 after a family settlement turned over management control of India’s largest pharmaceutical company to Parvinder Singh.

Three years later, Bhai Mohan ' who was expected to stay on as chairman of the pharmaceutical company till the end of his life ' was forced out in a palace coup that left him a deeply embittered man.

Stake back to trust

Sources say the disputed Ranbaxy stake will now go back into a trust ' the Bhai Mohan Mohali Trust ' and not to Analjit according to the terms of the will, which had been challenged by Malvinder and Shivinder.

As for the properties on 1 South End Lane, sources confirmed that while Nimmi Singh (Parvinder Singh’s wife) and her sons will get possession of the house they live in, the “main house” which belonged to Bhai Mohan Singh will go to Analjit Singh.

The two sides have been fighting over the will of Bhai Mohan Singh ever since he died in March this year and its contents became public.

Early this month, hopes of a settlement suddenly evaporated after Nimmi Singh charged Analjit with criminal intimidation and assault over the property feud.

Analjit, in turn, had filed a defamation complaint in a Delhi court against his brother's wife and nephews.

On being asked why was he not a part of the settlement, Manjit Singh, the second son of Bhai Mohan Singh, told The Telegraph, “I was never approached by my brother and so I am not a part of this settlement.”

Manjit Singh said, “I will challenge my father's will soon and contest it in the court this month”.

Nimmi Singh said, “I am thankful to Analjit for his cooperative, fair approach and for successfully handling the complicated historical issues that have had to be dealt with in reaching this happy conclusion not only for my sons and me but for our larger family.”

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