India. Vijay Mallya out of country, SC notice to appear before court within 2 weeks

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to beleaguered Vijay Mallya and asked him to respond within two weeks on pleas filed by consortium of 13 banks, led by State Bank of India.

Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi cited the CBI inputs and informed the the apex court that Vijay Mallya has left the country.

The court allowed notice to be served to Mallya through his official Rajya Sabha email ID via Indian High Commission at London and his counsel.

Consortium of banks sought directions for appearance of Mallya in person before apex court and for freezing his passport.

Pulling up the banks, SC also questioned why loans were given to Mallya when he was a defaulter and was facing proceedings in court of law. However, AG told SC that Mallya’s assets abroad are far in excess to loans taken by him.

Prior to moving the High Court, the banks had filed four pleas in the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) at Bengaluru seeking reliefs like freezing of Mallya’s passport, and for his arrest. They had also sought a direction to Mallya that he should to disclose his assets on oath.

The DRT, on March 2, heard arguments only on one plea and did not consider other three pleas which were related to freezing of the passport and restraining Mallya from leaving country, the banks said in their appeal to the apex court. The banks had moved the DRT in the backdrop of Mallya’s recent resignation from the chairmanship of United Spirits. The Tribunal also restrained Diageo from disbursing Rs 515 crores as settlement money to Vijay Mallya.