SC tells banks to reply to Vijay Mallya’s plea
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) to reply to UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya’s plea seeking recall of an order asking him to disclose his assets.
On 7 April, the court directed Mallya to disclose all assets held by him and his family.
The consortium of banks, led by the State Bank of India (SBI), however, claim that the former liquor baron had failed to furnish complete details of his assets and the apex court, on 25 July, issued a contempt notice against Mallya in that regard.
On Monday, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, representing the banks, told the court that Mallya ought not be heard as he had committed “complete and deliberate breach” of the court’s orders by failing to appear before it.
“There is no reply filed to the contempt petition. But more importantly, there is no appearance. He is bound to appear (before the court) today. If he’s not appearing ... he can’t be heard,” Rohatgi argued.
He added that Mallya had failed to disclose that he received $40 million in February.
A bench comprising justices Kurian Joseph and Rohinton F. Nariman said that it would consider the issue, including aspects of Mallya’s appearance in court and the contempt notice, on 27 September.
The banks have to file their reply to Mallya’s recall application within 10 days.
The banks’ contempt petition said that Mallya and his company, Kingfisher Airlines, have tried to sell assets to defeat the proceedings initiated against them before a debt recovery tribunal in Bengaluru.
The banking consortium had moved the debt recovery tribunal against Kingfisher Airlines Ltd in 2013 for defaulting on loans.
The consortium of 17 banks are owed a combined Rs.9,091 crore by the defunct Kingfisher Airlines. The banks have informed the court that they were willing to negotiate a settlement.