The Supreme Court on Monday asked the SBI-led consortium of public sector banks to respond to a plea by elusive founder-owner of Kingfisher Airlines Vijay Mallya for seeking withdrawal of contempt notice against him for allegedly not disclosing all his assets.
A bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and Rohinton F Nariman issued a notice to the petitioner consortium of banks, which have sought repayment of over Rs 9,000 crore loans from Mallya and his defunct Kingfishers airline. The court put the matter for detailed consideration on September 27 as Mallya’s counsel senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan contended that he committed no contempt of court and further complained that proceedings of loan settlement had stopped.
On his part, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the banks, submitted that since Mallya did not respond to the court’s notice of contempt issued on July 25 and had not appeared personally, he should not be granted any opportunity of hearing. He quoted Supreme Court rules to buttress his argument that Mallya was obligated to show up and seek exemption from his personal appearance.
As Mallya’s counsel submitted that he has filed the recall application, the bench asked Rohatgi: “Why don’t you file your response.”
The contempt notice was issued to Mallya for not making full disclosure of assets including $40 million received in February from Diageo, the British liquor major.