The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed businessman Vijay Mallya to share details of the overseas assets owned by him and his family with banks in accordance with the law. Mallya had earlier refused to furnish information on his assets abroad and filed an affidavit on the same, claiming that as a non-resident Indian, he was not obliged to disclose the details.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the Supreme Court that Mallya is a "fugitive from justice in India", who had not complied with its order to indicate when he will return to the country and appear before the court, PTI reported. Rohatgi added that Mallya was not willing to reveal details of the "substantial amount he is likely to deposit" to show his intention of settling dues with the banks.
The former liquor baron's lawyer claimed that he had "no instruction" on when Mallya will return to India, ANI reported. The lawyer added that the banks involved in the legal battle with him were no longer interested in merely having their money returned, but that they now wanted to see the 60-year-old in jail.
On Monday, a consortium of 17 banks led by the State Bank of India told the apex court that Mallya was not cooperating with the investigation connected with the Rs 9,000 crore he owes them. The SBI-led consortium filed a counter-affidavit in the court, saying Mallya had no choice but to comply with the orders of the Supreme Court, The Hindu reported. They also rejected the former liquor baron’s new offer to pay an additional Rs 2,468 crore along with his earlier offer of Rs 4,400 crore.
Regarding his inability to return and face the court because of his passport being revoked, the banks said Mallya could approach the High Commission in London – since he is reportedly in Britain right now – for emergency travel, if he “really wants to comply with court orders”. Mallya left India early in March, soon after he resigned as head of United Spirits. He claimed he did not flee the country, but that he travelled extensively for work.
On Monday, a parliamentary ethics panel unanimously voted to recommend expelling Mallya from the Rajya Sabha. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2002 and re-elected in 2010.