The United Kingdom’s commercial court passed an order allowing a consortium of 13 Indian banks to undertake searches and seizure of goods at Vijay Mallya’s houses in London, the advocates for the financial institutions said on Thursday. The banks are seeking to recover over Rs 10,000 crore from the fugitive liquor baron.
The banks’ lawyers said the June 26 order by the business and property court of England’s High Court of Justice “grants permission, but is not an instruction to act”, the Hindustan Times reported.
The order said the court’s enforcement officer may enter Mallya’s residences in Tewin and Hertfordshire, called ‘Ladywalk’ and ‘Bramble Lodge’, to “search for and take control of goods belonging to the First Defendant [Mallya]”. It added that the enforcement officer can use “reasonable force to enter the property if necessary”.
In May, a UK High Court ruling had refused to overturn a worldwide order freezing Mallya’s assets. In June, a UK court asked the businessman to pay a minimum of Rs 1.8 crore in legal fees by July 5.
A final hearing in India’s extradition case against the businessman is scheduled for July 31.