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Supreme Court finds Vijay Mallya guilty of contempt, asks him to appear on July 10

A consortium of banks has sought contempt proceedings against Vijay Mallya for allegedly transferring $40 million he got from Diageo Plc to his children instead of repaying a loan.

india Updated: May 09, 2017 20:30 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Vijay Mallya,Supreme Court,Contempt proceedings
Vijay Mallya, who lives in the UK, is wanted in India for loan default and money laundering.(AFP file photo)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday found troubled liquor baron Vijay Mallya guilty of contempt and asked him to appear before it on July 10, an order expected to help India’s case to seek his extradition from the UK.

A bench of justice AK Goel and justice UU Lalit said the 61-year-old businessman had failed to submit details of all his assets, upholding a plea by a consortium of banks to which he owes more than Rs 9,000 crore.

The money is owed by his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines that was grounded in 2012.

The quantum of punishment will be decided after hearing him. The flamboyant business man, who called himself king of good times, faces at least six months in jail.

The banks moved the court after Mallya transferred $40 million he received from London-based liquor major Diageo Plc in February 2016 to his three children instead of repaying the loan.

The money was received towards the $75-million debt settlement with Diageo following his resignation as chairman of United Spirits Ltd.

Mallya hid details of his transaction with Diageo when he filed an affidavit in the court sharing details of all his movable and immovable assets, the court said.

He also failed to obey court’s order to appear before it.

Tuesday’s order is expected to give a boost to India’s effort to bring Mallya, who is wanted in India for alleged loan default and money laundering, back to India.

The Indian side can cite the top court’s order when the extradition case comes up for next hearing in a London court on May 17.

After three failed auctions, the banks in April managed to sell Mallya’s iconic Kingfisher villa in Goa to actor and beer baron Sachiin Joshi for Rs 73.01 crore. The villa was among the assets Mallya pledged to his lenders.

India has impressed upon the UK to expedite the request for extradition of Mallya and other Indian fugitives. During last week’s visit by second permanent secretary in the home office Patsy Wilkinson, Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi put forward New Delhi’s request, which sources said was accepted by the UK.

First Published: May 09, 2017 10:51 IST