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Vijay Mallya sentenced to 4 months jail by Supreme Court

Mallya is currently in the United Kingdom and is being charged with a bank debt default case involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines that involves over Rs 9,000 crore.

SNS |

The Supreme Court on Monday sentenced fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya to four months jail term and imposed a fine of Rs 2000 on him. Mallya was found guilty of contempt of court in 2017 for withholding information from it.

The court further ordered Mallya to refund USD 40 million with interest within four weeks, failing which his possessions will be seized. The court further fined Mallya Rs 2000.

In a hearing earlier on July 9, the Supreme Court noted that Mallya acts like “a free person” in the United Kingdom and that no information was provided on the procedures against Mallya there.

Senior attorney Jaideep Gupta, who was the bench’s amicus curiae in the case, said that Mallya was found guilty on two counts: failing to disclose his assets and disobeying specific orders of restriction issued by the Karnataka High Court.

The top court last year opted to move on with the hearing on the severity of Mallya’s penalty in the contempt case against him despite declaring that it had waited “long enough” and couldn’t “wait further today.”

Because Mallya transferred USD 40 million to his children against the court’s ruling, the highest court found him in contempt of court and repeatedly requested his appearance.

On February 10, the Supreme Court gave Mallya his final two weeks to physically appear in court or through counsel in the contempt case brought against him; if he does not, the court would proceed to the next reasonable step.

In an appearance on behalf of the Ministry of External Affairs, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta explained that while the UK has notified the Indian government that there is something going on that can’t be disclosed, this is not the government of India’s position.

Mehta had previously provided a document from the Deputy Secretary (Extradition) Ministry of External Affairs, according to which the bench had stated that although Mallya’s extradition from the UK to India had reached its conclusion, certain “confidential proceedings” were still ongoing in the UK and their specifics were unknown.

Mallya has reportedly used up all of his legal options in the UK, according to the Centre.

Previously, the Centre had notified the highest court that although the extradition of fugitive Mallya is being hampered by legal difficulties in the United Kingdom, the Indian government is doing all in its power to extradite him.

Mallya had pleaded for a review of the highest court’s May 2017 ruling finding him guilty of contempt, but the appeal had been rejected.

Mallya is currently in the United Kingdom and is being charged with a bank debt default case involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines that involves over Rs 9,000 crore.

The top court had already questioned Mallya over the “truthfulness” of his asset statement and the distribution of funds to his children.

At that time, Mallya was ordered to deposit USD 40 million collected from the offshore company Diageo to the banks as well as a petition from lending banks pursuing contempt proceedings.

The banks then accused Mallya of hiding the truth and transferring the funds to his children Siddharth Mallya, Leanna Mallya, and Tanya Mallya, blatantly flouting Karnataka High Court directives.
(with inputs from ANI)