Court representation our right: Kingfisher

Court representation our right: Kingfisher

Ailing Kingfisher Airlines, facing proceedings initiated by lending bank PNB to declare it and its guarantors Vijay Mallya and UBHL as wilful defaulters, on Monday told the Delhi High Court that it has the right to be represented by lawyers before the bank's panel.

"Unless, a law specifically bars, a person or a company has every right to be represented by lawyers before a quasi- judicial panel or other committees," the counsel for the firm told a bench comprising Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw said. The court asked senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, appearing for the airlines, to advance arguments also on the rights of lawyers to appear before different panels under the Advocates Act.

"The order in this case will have wide ramifications across the country. Usually, competent persons leave a sinking ship and such companies are left with nobody except professionals like lawyers to help them," the bench said.

Punjab National Bank, however, opposed the plea saying that the bank's panel does not perform duties of a quasi- judicial body and hence, the company does not have a right to be represented through lawyers.

In its plea, PNB challenged an order of a single-judge bench of the high court which had allowed lawyers to represent the airline in the proceedings to decide whether the carrier and its guarantors, Mallya and United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd (UBHL) are to be held wilful defaulters for non-payment of dues of over Rs 770 crore.

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