A Hyderabad court on Tuesday issued four non-bailable warrants against businessman Vijay Mallya after he failed to appear before it in connection with a cheating case filed by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. Advocate H Sudhakar Rao, who is representing the businessman, told PTI that the warrants were related to cheque payments amounting to Rs 2 crore that did not go through. A special magistrate court issued the orders against Mallya as well as A Raghunath, the chief financial officer of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
GHIAL, which runs Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, had moved the court against Mallya and the airline for defaulting on payments and issuing cheques that bounced. The court had asked the duo to appear before it on March 10, but they did not. Now, the court has ordered the police to produce Mallya before it by April 13. The fresh warrants have to be executed by March 29. Rao said they were going to challenge this order in the high court and seek to quash it.
The Rajya Sabha member has been involved in a slew of legal issues. He owes around Rs 7,000 crore to 17 Indian banks, which had filed a petition in the Supreme Court last week to prevent him from leaving the country. Mallya had earlier said he planned to leave India and move to the United Kingdom to be closer to his family. Also, the Enforcement Directorate registered a money-laundering case against him. The liquor baron is due to appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday, the same day the Australian Formula One Grand Prix is scheduled to begin, where his team Force India will participate.