The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea filed by fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya seeking review of a 2017 order that held him guilty of contempt, PTI reported.
In the May 2017 verdict, the Supreme Court held Mallya guilty of contempt of court for transferring $40 million (approximately Rs 295 crore) to his children in violation of a court’s order. The amount was given to him by British liquor company Diageo Plc after he resigned as the chairperson of United Spirits Limited in February 2016.
Last week, the court had reserved its order after hearing the argument of both sides.
In the original arguments, the businessman had said that the amount concerned was among “thousands of transactions” he did and that it could be counted as an asset. A consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India, which had filed the case against Vijay Mallya, argued that disbursal of the money to his children Siddharth Mallya, Leanna Mallya and Tanya Mallya was in direct violation of a Karnataka High Court order.
Mallya owes Indians banks over Rs 9,000 crore. The Supreme Court had directed the businessman to give the banks a list of his assets so that they can recover the money. Mallya had argued that he had already handed over a complete list of his assets as of March 31, 2016.
When the case was picked up in June 2020, the Supreme Court pulled up its registry for not listing the review petition for three years. The hearing was adjourned after the court could not find a crucial reply in case records filed by Mallya.
Mallya, who is fighting his extradition to India, faces fraud and money laundering charges resulting from the collapse of his defunct company Kingfisher Airlines. The businessman, who fled India and moved to London in March 2016, owes Indian banks more than Rs 9,000 crore.
In February 2017, India had submitted an extradition request to the United Kingdom after Mallya made it clear he would not return. In July, the United Kingdom High Court allowed him to challenge his extradition order.
Mallya has repeatedly denied the charges against him and offered to pay back 100% of the amount borrowed by Kingfisher Airlines, but neither the banks nor the Enforcement Directorate has been willing to accept the offer. He also claimed that the allegations against him were related to borrowing only Rs 900 crore.