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Can’t sentence Vijay Mallya in his absence, says SC

Vijay Mallya

New Delhi: The Supreme Court told the Centre on Friday it won’t be able to sentence liquor baron Vijay Mallya in a contempt case in his absence.

In response, the government said the process to extradite Vijay Mallya, wanted for defaulting on bank loan repayments worth Rs 9,000 crore, has been initiated and proceedings in the British Crown Court will start by December 4, 2017.

In May, India had asked the UK to expedite the request for extradition of Mallya and other Indian fugitives. Most of Mallya’s loans are tied to his Kingfisher Airlines, which was grounded in 2012.

The Supreme Court, in May, found Mallya guilty of contempt and asked him to appear before it on July 10. A bench of justices AK Goel and UU Lalit said the 61-year-old businessman had failed to submit details of all his assets, upholding a plea by a consortium of banks to which he owes more than Rs 9,000 crore.

The banks had moved the court after Mallya transferred $40 million he received from London-based liquor major Diageo Plc in February 2016 to his three children instead of repaying the loan.

The money was received towards the $75-million debt settlement with Diageo following his resignation as chairman of United Spirits Ltd.

Mallya hid details of his transaction with Diageo when he filed an affidavit in the court sharing details of all his movable and immovable assets, the court said. He also failed to obey court’s order to appear before it.

 

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