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Move Vijay Mallya’s luxury jet from Mumbai airport parking lot, orders Bombay high court

So far, all the service tax department’s efforts to auction off and dispose of the plane have failed

mumbai Updated: Jan 29, 2018 22:09 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times
Vijay Mallya,Mumbai airport,Bombay high court
Businessman Vijay Mallya earlier used the luxury airbus as his private jet.(HT File)

The Bombay high court asked the official liquidator — appointed by the Karnataka high court to liquidate Kingfisher Airlines’ assets — to move a luxury airbus, which businessman Vijay Mallya earlier used as a personal jet, from the Mumbai international airport’s parking lot.

“The Airbus A319 is not a pleasant sight,” said a division bench of justices SC Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre. “Either fly it out, if it is air-worthy or simply move it elsewhere,” the judges told the lawyer appearing for the official liquidator.

The directive came after the counsel for the Mumbai International Airports Limited (MIAL) asked the court to order the immediate removal of the “big Airbus” from the lot, as it was blocking the area.

The court was hearing a petition filed by MIAL in 2014, which complained about the inaction of the service tax department, which “detained” six aircraft and two helicopters belonging to Kingfisher Airlines, but did not dispose of the Airbus A319. The airport operator said the large plane was occupying one of the parking hangars at the international airport.

Acting on the court’s orders, the service tax department had put the airbus up for auction, but could not find a prospective buyer. On Monday, the department’s counsel, advocate Pradeep Jetley, said the department’s efforts to auction off and dispose of the plane had failed.

CJ Leasing, which owns the airbus, had told the court that the service tax department was unable to attract a suitable bid as the aircraft’s reserve price, $23.5 million dollars, was “absolutely unrealistic.”

“In its current condition, the aircraft is, at best, worth $4 million to $4.5 million dollars,” it had said.

First Published: Jan 29, 2018 22:08 IST