Bengaluru: Beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya is likely to miss his date with the Karnataka high court on Thursday as the former liquor baron continues to be in “forced exile” in the United Kingdom since 2 March, and has failed to appear on more than just one occasion.
On 20 October, a division bench comprising Justice Jayant M. Patel and Justice Aravind Kumar observed that there is a prima facie case of contempt of court against Mallya and directed his presence on 24 November, Mint reported.
The case is about Mallya violating an undertaking not to sell or alienate his shares given before the Bengaluru bench of the debt recovery tribunal (DRT).
Mallya’s office did not respond to mails seeking comment.
Investigative agencies and banks have been turning the heat on the flamboyant businessman and seeking his extraction from his home in the UK. Earlier this week, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) secured a non-bailable warrant against Mallya from a special court in Mumbai to probe allegations of money laundering among other offences, Mint reported.
Mallya owes over Rs9,000 crore to secured creditors over his failed aviation business Kingfisher Airlines (KFA). This does not include the money he owes unpaid employees, tax authorities and unsecured creditors, among others.
But this is the not the first time a court has sought Mallya’s personal presence nor is it the first time that the former liquor baron has avoided his date with the courts or other probing agencies.
In April, the ministry of external affairs suspended Mallya’s passport and formally requested the UK government to deport him—a request that was declined. The UK government has stated that it would aid the Indian government with his extradition. The CBI and the banks have made several pleas before various courts to get Mallya back to the country and be made answerable to all allegations. Mallya’s offers to depose via video conference has been declined by the authorities.
The CBI is confident that with the non-bailable warrant against Mallya, they have an air-tight case to bring him back to India. The CBI officials are expected to forward the non-bailable warrant to the UK government to help extradite Mallya, Mint reported on Tuesday