The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned the hearing on contempt case proceedings against embattled businessman Vijay Mallya while observing that it will proceed in the case only when he is produced before it. The apex court also noted the government’s stand that proceedings to bring Mallya back is pending in the United Kingdom.
The Supreme Court had on may 9 held beleaguered business tycoon Vijay Mallya guilty of contempt on the basis of a plea by a consortium of banks for his failure to provide details of all his assets, domestic as well as offshore. Vijay Mallya had failed to make a personal appearance before the court despite being told to do so.
As per the law, the offence of contempt of court entails a maximum imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of upto Rs 2,000 or both. Very recently, India had asked Britain to ensure early extradition of Vijay Mallya, who is accused in a massive bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines. The apex court was acting on a plea made by a consortium of lender banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI), which had contested that Vijay Mallya had allegedly transferred at least USD 40 million received from Diageo to his children in violation of various judicial orders.
The consortium of banks had argued before the court that liquor baron Vijay Mallya had disobeyed the orders and made “vague” disclosure about his assets. The apex court had earlier on March 9 asked the liquor baron about the “truthfulness” of the disclosure of assets by him and the transfer of money to his children.
The banks have claimed that Vijay Mallya had concealed the facts and diverted the money to his son Siddharth Mallya and daughters Tanya Mallya and Leanna Mallya in clear violation of the orders passed by the Karnataka High Court.