The London High Court on Thursday approved Swiss bank UBS’s plea to strike down arguments put forth by Vijay Mallya’s counsel in a case related to the non-payment of a mortgage for his central London property, PTI reported. Mallya was directed to pay £88,000 [approximately Rs 80 lakh] to the bank, which has sought to take possession of the house.
Earlier on Thursday, the Bombay High Court had rejected Mallya’s petition challenging the Enforcement Directorate’s request to declare him a fugitive economic offender.
Mallya, who is accused of cheating banks of Rs 9,000 crore, is fighting a number of lawsuits in the United Kingdom and India related to fraud and money laundering allegations. India is also attempting to extradite him from the UK. In October, a special court in Mumbai had dismissed his petition seeking a stay on the Enforcement Directorate’s request.
Mallya’s Cornwall Terrace property, which overlooks Regent’s Park in central London, was purchased under a £20.4-million [approximately Rs 188 crore] mortgage taken by Rose Capital Ventures, one of Mallya’s companies. The property was referred to as a “high-class home for Dr Vijay Mallya and his family members and United Breweries Group corporate guests”, PTI reported.
The trial is scheduled to begin in May. The court expressed displeasure about attempts to secure adjournments in the case by Mallya’s legal team. “I accept that the change of solicitors put the defendants’ legal team under considerable pressure,” the judgment said. “However, I am not satisfied that the defendants [Mallya] have shown a good reason for seeking an adjournment. It seems to me that the defendants are largely the authors of their current misfortune.”
The bank UBS said it is pleased with the court’s decision.