'Mallya cannot use plea to stall insolvency proceeding'

Photo credit: AP/PTI file

The Supreme Court Monday said fugitive economic offender Vijay Mallya cannot use pendency of his plea in the apex court to stall insolvency proceedings initiated against him by lenders in other countries.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde passed the order after the Centre told the court that Mallya used pendency of his plea to stall the UK court from delivering verdict in insolvency proceedings.

Pendency of the case is not a ground for holding any case anywhere in the world, the apex court said.

"In view of the letter circulated by Advocate-on-Record for the petitioner, list these matters on January 10, 2020...subject to the condition that the pendency of these special leave petitions shall not be used as a cause for seeking adjournment in any matter before any Tribunal, Court or Authority anywhere," said the bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, informed the court that proceedings in the UK in an insolvency case filed by SBI against Mallya, have been concluded and the order reserved.

Mallya's lawyers have asked the UK court not to pass any order contending that settlement proposal is pending in the apex court here, Mehta said and asked the court to clarify the position.

Mallya, currently in the UK, has been charged by the Enforcement Directorate of defaulting on bank loans amounting to Rs 9,000 crore. He is facing extradition trial in the UK.

Mehta told the court that Mallya has been assuring the consortium of banks since 2013 that he will repay the money and not a single rupee has come from him till date.

Mallya had earlier moved the apex court challenging the confiscation of properties belonging to the companies owned by him and his family members.

He said in the plea that no property other than that of Kingfisher Airlines, facing cases of alleged irregularities, should be attached.

On July 11, last year the Bombay High Court had refused to grant stay on proceedings before a special court on confiscation of Mallya's properties.

The division bench of the court had dismissed an application filed by Mallya last month, seeking a stay on the proceedings before the special court hearing cases pertaining to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

On January 5 last year, the special PMLA court here declared Mallya a fugitive economic offender. The court then started proceedings for confiscation of his properties.

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