The Supreme Court ordered Vijay Mallya on Thursday to disclose his assets in India and abroad within 13 days after a consortium of 17 banks led by State Bank of India rejected the liquor baron’s offer to clear half his dues by September.
A bench of justice Kurien Joseph and justice RF Nariman asked Mallya to prove his bona fides. It told him to file an affidavit by April 21 indicating how much money he would deposit with the Supreme Court to instil confidence in the consortium to negotiate with him. The affidavit will contain details of his wife and son’s assets, too. The court declined the banks’ request to direct Mallya to declare assets belonging to his former wife.
The bench seemed to agree with the consortium’s argument that Mallya’s presence was necessary to work out a settlement and told his lawyers to get instructions on when he could appear in court. Mallya left India in early March, triggering outrage as he was under probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate over alleged loan defaults and illegally moving money out of the country.
“He shall disclose details of all his properties, rights, titles, interest and partnerships, both in India and abroad and also such rights indicated in the name of his wife and children,” the order read.
The court permitted the banks to respond to Mallya’s affidavit by April 23 and fixed April 26 to hear the case.
According to Mallya’s lawyers, he declared his assets in March 2010.
The consortium’s petition filed through Dua Associates alleged Mallya was a wilful defaulter and owed more than Rs 9,000 crore to its members. The consortium had rushed to the top court after a debt recovery tribunal in Bengaluru turned down its plea to stop the businessman from leaving the country.
The consortium said it was willing to settle but not in the form Mallya offered. Senior advocate Shyam Divan told the court his client was not ready for any conditions in the offer, which stated that the first instalment of Rs 4,000 crore would be a mix of cash and shares. An additional Rs 2,000 crore would be paid if Kingfisher won two civil suits in Bengaluru and Britain.
Divan informed the court that Mallya sent a second proposal on Wednesday evening and that stood rejected, too. “It’s always better to have a reasonable settlement in such cases. But he (Mallya) has to prove his bona fides by presenting himself for suitable negotiation. He cannot give us a contingency plan that he is getting money from X and Y and then he will pay to the banks,” the advocate told the bench.
The top court allowed another consortium led by Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) to become a party in the case. In an application before the court, OBC claimed the Mallya-promoted Kingfisher Airlines, United Breweries and Airbus SAS owed Rs 192 crore to the consortium.