SC rejects UBHL plea against HC's order to shut down

SC rejects plea by UBHL against Karnataka HC's order for winding up of UB's holding company

Karnataka High Court had in February 2018 found total dues of UBHL to its creditors to be around Rs 7,000 crore

Supreme Court of India. Credit: PTI Photo

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a plea filed by fugitive industrialist Vijay Mallya's United Breweries Holdings Limited (UBHL) against a Karnataka High Court order's upholding the winding up of the company for recovery of dues payable by Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.

A bench presided over by Justice U U Lalit declined to entertain the appeal filed by UBHL and affirmed the winding up of the 102-year-old parent company of the UB Group.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the SBI-led consortium of banks, informed the top court that so far around Rs 3,600 crore have been recovered but Rs 11,000 crore was still needed to be recovered from Mallya and UBHL.

Senior Advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for the UBHL, contended that there was more than sufficient for all creditors and this was not a case for winding up. He said even the banks acknowledged that all these assets have been attached by the ED. 

Vaidyanathan said the bulk of the assets are in the form of shares and these attachments are at the instance of the banks for the money they had loaned to the tune of Rs 900 crores, which was wrongfully diverted. However, all these assets had been acquired before Kingfisher had even availed of the loan, he added. 

Rohatgi, for his part, claimed Rs 15,000 crores dues as on date. He contended that it was a bogus argument that they have the money. "We have been able to recover Rs 3595 crores. Rs 11000 crores are remaining," he said, adding no bona fide offer had so far been made.