Explain why Vijaya Mallya’s plea was not listed for 3 years: SC to registry

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 21, 2020

The Supreme court has asked its registry to explain why the review petition filed by businessman Vijaya Mallya on the 2017 order that held him guilty of contempt of court for transferring $40 million in his children’s account, not enlisted before the court for last three years, as per media reports.

A bench led by Justices UU Lalit and Ashok Bhushan, which took up Vijay Mallya's review petition in-chamber on June 16, ordered the top court registry to present the details including names of officials who had dealt with the file concerning the review petition for last three years.

"According to the record, placed before us, the review petition was not listed before the court for the last three years. Before we deal with the submissions raised in the review petition, we direct the registry to explain why the review petition was not listed before the concerned court for the last three years," the bench said in its June 16 order which was uploaded on the Supreme Court website on Friday as quoted in the media report.

The bench sought explanation due to the undue delay in listing of the review petition. It further asked to present the furnished details within two weeks.

"The review petition shall, thereafter, be considered on merits," the bench said in its order, adding, "As per office report on limitation the review petition was filed in time."

The review petition has been filed by Mallya for May 9, 2017 order, which found him guilty of contempt of court for transferring $40 million to his children in violation of the court's order.

Vijay Mallya had been accused in a bank loan default of around ₹9,000 crore. The case involved his defunct Kingfisher Airlines. Mallya is currently living in the United Kingdom.

SC held him guilty after a consortium of banks, including State Bank of India had filed a plea against Mallya stating that he had transferred $40 million, the money he had received from British firm Diageo, in his children’s account. The banks considered it a “flagrant violation” of judicial orders.

The top court had earlier asked Vijay Mallya about the "truthfulness" of his disclosure of assets and the transfer of money to his children.

It was dealing with pleas of lending banks seeking contempt action and a direction to Vijay Mallya to deposit $40 million received from offshore firm Diageo respectively.

The banks had then alleged that Vijay Mallya hid the facts and diverted the money to his son Siddharth Mallya, and daughters Leanna and Tanya Mallya in "flagrant violation" of the orders passed by the Karnataka High Court.

Earlier, SC had held Vijay Mallya for not making full disclosure of his overseas properties and had ordered him to reveal them within a month.

Last month, Mallya had also lost his application seeking leave to appeal his extradition to India in the UK Supreme Court. Now, he has 28-days before his removal from the UK.

The decision came as a big setback for Mallya, who had earlier lost his high court appeal against an extradition order to India on charges of alleged fraud and money laundering related to unrecovered loans to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, agency report stated.

Vijay Mallya has been based in the UK since March 2016 and remains on bail on an extradition warrant executed three years ago by Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017.

Published on June 21, 2020

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