SC defers hearing on Mallya's plea

SC defers hearing on Mallya's plea

Vijay Mallya

The Supreme Court on Monday deferred its hearing on a plea made by fugitive industrialist Vijay Mallya against a Bombay High Court's order declining to stay the proceedings initiated by the Enforcement Directorate for the confiscation of properties, including “untainted assets” after Kingfisher Airlines became defunct with thousands of crores of bank debt.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose allowed a plea by senior advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for Mallya, that the present petition should be heard along with another plea arising out of the Karnataka High Court's judgement.

The court then posted the matter for consideration on Friday, August 2.

Mallya, who is facing extradition proceedings in the United Kingdom, had challenged the vires of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 before the Bombay High Court on the ground that the law sought to confiscate all properties of a fugitive economic offender.

On April 24, the high court issued a notice to the Attorney General but refused to stay the proceedings before the special court started on a plea by the Enforcement Directorate for the confiscation of properties.

The high court did not fix a date for hearing on the writ petition and had even disallowed a plea for passing an order that the proceedings before the special court would be subject to the outcome of the petition challenging the validity of the law, his plea stated.

The Enforcement Directorate had invoked provisions of the Fugitive Offenders Act, 2018 against Mallya, who had evaded the authorities hereafter defaulting to pay back the loan of over Rs 9000 crore to the banks. He had been living in the United Kingdom and faced extradition proceedings.

The apex court had on July 14, 2017, refrained from passing sentence against industrialist Mallya in the contempt case as the Union government could not produce him, citing extradition proceedings. On May 9, 2017, the court had held him guilty of contempt of court.