The Supreme Court ordered liquor baron Vijay Mallya to provide details of what he did with the $40 million he received from Diageo — a British company that bought his shares in United Spirits Limited in February — just before he fled India.
A bench of justice Kurien Joseph and justice Rohinton Nariman criticised Mallya on Tuesday for not giving complete details of his assets abroad as per an earlier direction and being evasive about the $40 million transaction with Diageo.
Asking the businessman to file a fresh affidavit, the bench directed him to make a complete disclosure within four weeks with full particulars of the properties and cash he holds.
“We are not happy with the way you have filed your statements,” the bench said. “We are of the view that prima facie, the respondent (Mallya) has not made a proper disclosure in terms of our order,” it ordered on an application filed by a conglomerate of banks, which said the liquor baron defied the court’s April 27 order asking him to reveal his and his family’s assets in India and abroad.
Mallya owes Rs 9,000 crore to the banks and has not been able to offer any proposal to pay back.
Mallya’s counsel, on his part, denied the allegation.
He said the liquor baron got the money but spent it before March 31. “The order asked me to reveal the details of assets I owned till March 31. I got the money on February 25 (from Diageo) and spent it (before the deadline court fixed),” senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan said.
“There was a specific statement made against you with regard to $40 million. But, instead of coming clean, you file an evasive response. A great deal of things must have happened between February 25 and March 31. In 40 days, 40 million were spent. So now you tell us where you spent it,” the bench told Vaidyanathan.
On perusal of the statements Mallya filed, the bench noted that the liquor baron had specifically stated he had Rs 16,440 cash and around Rs 12 crore in banks. But, the disclosure of international assets gave no details. Neither did it talk of how much cash Mallya had nor the balance in his bank accounts.