There is more trouble brewing for fugitive economic offender Vijay Mallya as twelve state-owned Indian banks led by State Bank of India want Mallya to be declared as bankrupt. They have moved the court to declare Mallya bankrupt for over 1.15 billion pounds in unpaid debts. Bankers have told the court that Mallya is yet to pay up the debts. The three-day trial started on Tuesday. Banks have argued before the court that Mallya has substantial assets in England.
In the petition filed before the court, the bankers have mentioned the following as Mallya’s assets: a townhouse in London’s Regent’s Park worth more than 30 million pounds, 13 million-pound mansion in Hertfordshire, three yachts, and shares in Force India Formula One Team Ltd. Mallya’s legal team, however, has argued before the court to dismiss the petition as a similar case is underway in India. The lawyers have also requested the court to delay the hearing as Mallya’s appeal against the extradition order is being heard by another London court. The case will come up for hearing in February.
Meanwhile, a PMLA court in Mumbai is already hearing a request by lenders for the restoration and sale of Mallya’s confiscated assets. The consortium of 15 banks led by State Bank of India (SBI) had applied to the PMLA court in January for the restoration of assets so that they could be sold. The ED, which had moved to attach the properties, gave its consent to the banks’ proposal on February 5 with a few riders. The final order by the PMLA court is now awaited. The ED also plans to auction Vijay Mallya’s equity holdings attached by the agency once the PMLA court passes its order on confiscating his assets.