Mallya bankruptcy hearing set for spring

Vidya Ram | | Updated on: Dec 17, 2018

A bankruptcy hearing based on a petition from a consortium of public sector banks attempting to recover £1.145 billion worth of assets from Vijay Mallya, is set to take place in London in the spring of 2019.

The bankruptcy petition was filed against Mallya on behalf of the banks on September 11, confirmed TLT LLP, the law firm representing the consortium.

“This was issued in Dr Mallya’s local court, Northampton county court, and has now been transferred to the insolvency list in the High Court of Justice in London for the hearing,” said Paul Gair, a partner at TLT, in a statement.

In July, Mallya had lost his attempt to appeal the decision of the UK court in the lawsuit brought by the 13 banks — led by State Bank of India — seeking to recover £1.45 billion. The ruling allowed the registration of the Karnataka Debt Recovery Tribunal’s 2017 order against Mallya in the UK and the implementation of a Worldwide Freezing Order that prevented him from removing or diminishing his assets in England and Wales. In October, the court instructed the high court enforcement officer to sell six cars of Mallya’s for at least £404,000 plus tax.

In a separate case, Swiss bank UBS is attempting to foreclose on a £20.4-billion loan on his central London house. The case is expected to begin in May.

Earlier this month, the Chief Magistrate of Westminster Magistrates Court ruled that Mallya should be extradited to India in relation to charges of fraud and money laundering. Her verdict has been sent to Britain’s Home Office to await the formal ordering by Home Secretary Sajid Javid. He has two months to sign the order, after which Mallya would have opportunities to appeal. Mallya is yet to confirm whether he will do so, saying at the extradition hearing earlier this month that his legal team was reviewing the options.

Settlement offer

Over the past few months, on a number of occasions, Mallya has taken to social media, urging authorities to accept his settlement offer before the Karnataka High Court.

“Kingfisher was a fab airline that faced the highest ever crude prices of $140/barrel. Losses mounted and that’s where banks’ money went. I have offered to repay 100 per cent of the principal amount to them. Please take it,” he tweeted in early December.

Published on December 17, 2018
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