The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to file a status report within six weeks on the confidential legal proceedings pending in the United Kingdom on extradition of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya to India, Live Law reported.
A bench of Justices UU Lalit and Ashok Bhushan was hearing a contempt case in which Mallya was held guilty. On August 31, the top court had directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure the presence of Mallya to appear before it on October 5. It had also dismissed Mallya’s plea seeking a review of the 2017 verdict that held him guilty of contempt for transferring $40 million to his children in violations of court orders.
However, on October 5, the Centre had said it was not aware of the secret ongoing proceedings against Mallya in the UK as the government of India was not a party to the process.
During Monday’s hearing, when the bench asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta about the timeframe of proceeding pending in the UK, he said they have no information about it from the London High Commission, according to PTI.
The home ministry in its affidavit filed earlier had said that the pending legal issue in the United Kingdom is outside and apart from the extradition process and is confidential and cannot be disclosed.
The matter has now been adjourned till January 2021 for further hearing.
The liquor baron, who is fighting his extradition to India, faces fraud and money laundering charges in a bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore resulting from the collapse of his defunct company Kingfisher Airlines.
In February 2017, India had submitted an extradition request to the United Kingdom after Mallya made it clear he would not return. In July 2019, 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.