Ensure Mallya's presence on July 10: SC to Home Ministry
The Supreme Court has directed the Union Home Ministry to "secure and ensure" the presence of embattled businessman Vijay Mallya, who is currently in the United Kingdom, before it on July 10 for the hearing on the quantam of punishment for contempt of court. The top court has held Mallya guilty of contempt of court for disobeying its orders by not disclosing full particulars of his assets and also violating the orders of Karnataka High Court by transferring USD 40 million received from British firm Diageo, to his three children.
India had recently asked Britain to ensure early extradition of Mallya, who is an accused in a bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines. "We direct the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi to secure and ensure presence of Vijay Mallya before this court on July 10, 2017. A copy of this judgment be sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs for compliance," a bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Uday Umesh Lalit said.
The offence of contempt of court entails a maximum imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of upto Rs 2,000 or both.
The bench observed that Mallya has neither filed a reply to the contempt plea, nor has he appeared in person before it.
Since he has been found guilty of contempt of court, "we deem it necessary to give him one more opportunity and also hear him on the proposed punishment". "We, therefore, adjourn matter to July 10 for hearing Vijay Mallya in person on matters in issue, including one regarding the proposed punishment to be awarded to him for contempt of court," the court, in its 26-page judgement, said.
The SC order came on a plea by the consortium of banks, led by State Bank of India, which had said that Mallya had not disclosed full particulars of his assets and violated various judicial orders.