In a major development, fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya has been declared bankrupt by the London High Court on Monday, July 26, with a consortium of 13 Indian banks led by SBI winning the case. The banks had accused Mallya of wilfully defaulting loans amounting to Rs 9,000 crore which was sanctioned to the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
With this order, the assets of Mallya can be seized. However, the businessman is appealing against the High Court order. Mallya, who fled India, is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with alleged Rs 9000 crore bank fraud.
The 68-year-old had fled to the UK after banks moved to the Supreme Court of India seeking his detention. India has been engaged in efforts for his extradition since.
The SBI led a consortium of 13 Indian banks, which also includes Corporation Bank, Bank of Baroda, IDBI Bank, Federal Bank Ltd, Indian Overseas Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of Mysore, UCO Bank, United Bank of India and JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Co. Pvt Ltd, had initiated the proceedings against Mallya in December 2018.
This development comes a day after Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that UK authorities have given the best assurance for the extradition of Vijay Mallya. The foreign secretary had said that UK authorities have assured fugitive businessman's extradition to face charges of fraud and money laundering.
The Indian High Commissioner to the UK Gaitri Issar Kumar had also reiterated that extradition has been decided and only legal process is remaining. "In the High Commission, the assessment is that the extradition has been decided, the only thing is this remaining legal process which they are duty-bound to do because it is a judicial process," she had said.