In another huge setback for former liquor baron Vijay Mallya, the Supreme Court on Monday said that he cannot use his petition pending in the top court to stall the insolvency proceedings, initiated by SBI in the United Kingdom. Mallya had filed a petition asking the London court to not take up the matter because the matter is pending before the Indian Supreme Court.
The apex court said no one can seek relief anywhere in the world by citing cases pending in this court. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde passed the order.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court that no money has been received from Vijay Mallya so far. The hearing of the case has been adjourned till Friday. The Centre also raised doubts on his “settlement” claim. SG Mehta told the court that despite talking of settlement, not a single rupee has been paid by Mallya. The former liquor barron had approached the apex court on June 27 seeking a stay on the confiscation of properties owned by him and his relatives.
On January 1, the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai permitted a consortium of 15 banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) to utilise movable assets of fugitive Vijay Mallya towards repayment of his debts.
The assets, comprising financial securities like shares of the United Breweries Holdings Ltd (UBHL), were attached by the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in 2016 when it declared Vijay Mallya a proclaimed offender.
According to investigating agencies, the Kingfisher owner had run away from the country in 2016 when cases against him were registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED). According to agencies, Vijay Mallya had taken loans from these various banks and never paid his debts. The principal amount Vijay Mallya owes to the banks is around Rs 5,000 crore which has risen to around Rs 12,000 crore with the 11.5 per cent interest that has been mounting because of the non-payment of dues.
In February last year, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had told the special PMLA court that it had no objection to the liquidation of confiscated assets by a consortium of banks, led by the State Bank of India.
Currently, Mallya remains on bail pending the UK High Court appeal hearing in the extradition proceedings brought by India in relation to fraud and money laundering charges. He had been arrested on an extradition warrant back in April 2017 and has been fighting his extradition in the UK courts since then. He was granted permission to appeal against his extradition order, which is scheduled in the Royal Courts of Justice in London for February.