India. Wilful defaulters case…UB, Mallya seek legal representation

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United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd. and its Chairman Vijay Mallya on Friday approached the Delhi High Court, seeking legal representation at a hearing before a State Bank of India (SBI) panel where they would need to explain why they should not be declared wilful defaulters, reports a business daily.

“Without a lawyer’s assistance, I have been held to be a wilful defaulter. This amounts to breach of principles of natural justice,” Mallya has been quoted as saying.

Denial of an opportunity to be represented by a trained legal representative at the hearing would amount to miscarriage of justice, UB and Mallya’s counsel Rajiv Nayyar has been quoted as saying.
The Delhi high court may not be the correct forum to deal with the matter, according to Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw.

“It appears that redressal for the grievance brought before the court has to be sought before the Bombay high court,” Endlaw said.

The case will be heard next on 1st February.

In November 2014, SBI had declared UB, Kingfisher Airlines and Mallya wilful defaulters.

Kingfisher Airlines approached the Bombay high court, which allowed it legal representation before the redressal grievance committee.

This was challenged by SBI in the Supreme Court on the grounds that it violated rules set by RBI, which stipulates that only the borrower be present during the meeting of a redressal committee.

The Supreme Court upheld the Bombay high court’s order and allowed legal representation to Kingfisher Airlines.