The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed founder-owner of Kingfisher Airlines Vijay Mallya to adduce details of $40 million, which he had allegedly received from British firm Diageo in February.
Expressing displeasure at Mallya not coming clean on disclosure of all his assets including the money that he reportedly received from Diageo, a bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and Rohinton F Nariman asked him to furnish complete details of his assets abroad in four weeks.
“We are prima facie of the view that the report has not made a proper disclosure in respect of our order of April 7 directing to make complete disclosure of assets and in particular, the receipt of $40 million as to when it was received and how it has been dealt till date,” said the bench.
It said that the details Mallya filed earlier in his disclosure statement about his foreign properties do not have reference of cash in hand or bank details and details of assets like he has done for those in India.
At the outset, the bench observed that if Mallya wanted to come clean he would have told the court about the $40 million which was a huge amount deposited in the bank account.
“We are not happy the way you (Mallya) filed your statement. $40 million was a cash in hand and you (Mallya) have not told us what you did with that amount. Our direction was disclosure of assets and cash in hand. Nobody knows what happened with $40 million,” it said.
Representing the elusive liquor baron, senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, however, maintained that the disclosure of assets was made as per the court’s directions. “The court’s direction was to disclose assets in India and abroad as on March 31, 2016, but there was no direction for disclosure of transaction, receipts and expenses,” he said. The counsel added that the amount that Mallya received from Diageo may have been spent or used and whatever the assets remained as on March 31, was included in the details that had been furnished to the court.
But the bench retorted: “We had asked for complete details of assets and not list of properties. Why did you not tell us about the $40 million? You consider $40 million as not your assets. We want to know where this amount went.” It fixed the next hearing on November 24 and asked him to file complete details of his assets, including cash.