Appear in person, bring passport along, HC tells Mallya

The High Court of Karnataka on Monday ordered that summons be issued to liquor baron and chairman of United Breweries Holdings Limited (UBHL), Vijay Mallya, to appear before it on Tuesday and bring his passport along.

Hearing a batch of winding-up petitions by creditors, Justice Ram Mohan Reddy said that he had every means to impound Mallya’s passport if he did not comply with the court’s orders. The High Court, in a previous order, had directed the UBHL to file an audited report of expenditure incurred in the Diageo deal. The court observed that the audit report of the sharesale was not filed appropriately. UBHL has been embroiled in five winding-up petitions by unsecured creditors who are trying to recover around
Rs 600 crore from the company.

The Kingfisher Airlines is grounded since October 2012 due to mounting debts of around USD 2.5 billion to banks, lessors, tax authorities as well as employees.

Mallya had told reporters that after the UBHL’s annual general meeting recently that the company had serious counterclaims against three of the five winding-up petitions and that it was holding talks with  two other petitioners for an out-of-court settlement.
The High Court had earlier asked UBHL to deposit Rs 250 crore guarantee. Mallya claimed that the court order had been obeyed.

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