India. Hyderabad court issues NBW against Vijay Mallya

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A Hyderabad magistrate court has issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya and A Raghunathan, chief financial officer of defunct Kingfisher Airlines, in an alleged cheating case.

The NBW was issued in connection with alleged dishonour of a cheque of Rs 50 lakh to GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL). The police have been ordered to produce Mallya, who is currently in the UK, in the court by April 13. However, the counsel for Mallya has decided to move the Hyderabad High Court seeking quashing of the NBW.

The warrant was issued following a petition by infrastructure major GMR Group’s Hyderabad arm, which had sought prosecution of Vijay Mallya as he had defaulted on payments and cheated the company by issuing cheques that bounced.

The airport officials had filed 11 cases against Mallya’s airline Kingfisher for non-payment of dues to the tune of Rs 8 crore. Cheques issued for Rs 50 lakh had bounced and a case was filed against him.

The 14th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court issued the NBWs on March 10 against the now defunct Kingfisher Airline, its chairman Vijay Mallya and another senior official of the company and posted the matter for April 13.

“Mallya and others were supposed to appear before the court on March 10. They did not appear. Hence, court issued NBW order which has to be executed by April 13,” GMR counsel G Ashok Reddy said. There are a total of 11 cases involving Rs 8 crore payment to GMR and the NBWs were issued in connection with a Rs 50-lakh bounce cheque, he said.

Advocate H Sudhakar Rao, appearing for Mallya said, “NBWs have been issued in this case. There are other cases going on wherein we have got orders from High Court dispensing with his (Mallya’s) attendance.”

“I will be filing an application in the high court for quashing this order of issuing warrants,” Rao said. When contacted, GMR refused to comment on the issue saying the matter is sub-judice.

Earlier in 2012, GHIAL, which runs Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, had filed a petition in the court seeking Mallya’s prosecution for defaulting on payments and cheating them by allegedly issuing cheques that bounced. Later, GHIAL in October 2012 withdrew the case after the airline agreed to pay the outstanding amount due to the airport operator. The court had also then issued NBWs against five senior executives of the airline, including Mallya.