File photo: Vijay Mallya arrives for a case management hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in London | Photo: PTI
In a major blow to business tycoon Vijay Mallya, a UK high court on Tuesday ruled in favour of Indian banks seeking to collect more than $1.55 billion from him. The court refused to overturn an Indian court's worldwide order for freezing of Mallya's assets.
Mallya and his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines
are embroiled in several court cases ranging from money laundering to tax evasion and loan defaults. The tycoon has been on an self-imposed exile in the UK since he left India on March 2, 2016.
What the judgment implies
The UK high court judgment will enable banks to enforce an earlier judgment of an Indian court against Mallya's assets in England and Wales
. The worldwide freezing order prevents Mallya from "removing any assets from England and Wales up to that value or to in any way dispose of, deal with or diminish the value of his assets in or outside of this jurisdiction, up to the same value".
Who were the applicants?
The litigation in the Queen's Bench Division of the commercial court in England's High Court of Justice lists State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Corporation bank, Federal Bank Ltd, IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of Mysore, UCO Bank, United Bank of India and JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Co Pvt Ltd as applicants.
The extradition case
The 62-year-old former industrialist is waging another fight in a different court to block his extradition to India over financial irregularities and money laundering cases.
The case is being heard by the Westminster Magistrate Court in London and the final verdict is expected on July 11
On 27th April, Indian authorities received a major boost in the case as the court accepted bulk of the evidence
submitted by them.
In April last year, Mallya had been arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant. He is out on a bail bond worth 650,000 pounds.
Mallya is wanted in India for Kingfisher Airlines' default on loans worth nearly Rs 90 billion and some other matters.
According to a Livemint report, Vijay Mallya, as of 19 April 2017, had 11 major cases registered against him. The cases include -
GMR Hyderabad Airport cheque bounce case
Airports Authority of India (AAI) case
Case related to non-payment of TDS
Mallya left India in 2016, saying he was moving to England to be closer to his children. He has refused to return to India and said he fears an unfair trial amid the “media frenzy and hysteria” over unpaid dues.
Mallya has also said government agencies are pursuing a "heavily biased investigation" and holding him guilty without trial.
Mallya has told Indian Courts that he is unable to appear before them despite 'best intentions' as his passport has been revoked.
A Delhi Court on Tuesday issued fresh orders to attach the properties of Mallya for evading summons in a money laundering case related to FERA violations.
The court had on January 4 declared Mallya a proclaimed offender for evading summons in a FERA violation case
after noting that he failed to appear before it despite repeated summons.
With agency inputs