SC rejects Vijay Mallya's plea to revie contempt case

SC rejects Vijay Mallya's plea to review conviction in contempt case

Vijay Mallya, who evaded law enforcement authorities here and stayed at the United Kingdom, has suffered setbacks after the court over there allowed for his extradition.

 The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a review petition filed by fugitive industrialist Vijay Mallya against his conviction in a contempt case, for failing to disclose the transfer of $40 million to his children's accounts despite an order against it.

The top court directed Mallya, staying in the United Kingdom, to appear before it on October 5 for hearing on proposed punishment against him.

A bench of Justices U U Lalit and Ashok Bhushan found "no error apparent on record" in the May 9, 2017 judgement, holding the promoter of defunct Kingfisher Airlines guilty for the contempt of court.

The court noted that an oral undertaking was made by Mallya and others in 2013 before the Debt Recovery Tribunal, Bengaluru and the Karnataka High Court that there would be no alienation of their assets. The assurance was given on the plea by the bank's led by SBI to recover Rs 6,203 crore from him.

Admittedly, the amount of $40 million which was part of the sum of $75 million (received from British firm Diageo) was received on February 25, 2016, and within few days, the said amount of was transferred.

"Despite repeated orders passed by this court, no clear disclosure of his assets was made by Mallya, nor any details of in-flow and out-flow of said amount of $40 million were disclosed by him. As a matter of fact, the existence of the concerned bank account itself was not disclosed," the bench said.

The court noted it was an error on its part for not having considered a response by Mallya filed on January 31, 2017. However, it noted the reply did not contradict the oral assurance made by the DRT and the HC.

Rejecting an attempt to hold rehearing in the matter, the court dismissed his plea, even not considering the reply did not cause any prejudice to him. The court directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure the presence of Mallya before it on October 5.

Mallya, who evaded law enforcement authorities here and stayed at the United Kingdom, has suffered setbacks after the court over there allowed for his extradition.

His date of return, however, is still uncertain due to undisclosed legal issues.

The Enforcement Directorate has invoked provisions of the Fugitive Offenders Act, 2018 against Mallya, who had evaded the authorities here after defaulting to pay back the loan of over Rs 9000 crore to the banks.