The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the lawyers for businessman Vijay Mallya to come clean about the nature of ‘confidential’ proceedings going on after the rejection of his appeal against extradition in the U.K. Supreme Court.
At the start of the hearing, the government informed a Special Bench of Justices U.U. Lalit and Ashok Bhushan that Mr. Mallya’s extradition case in the U.K. is over, but some ‘secret’ proceedings is on.
“Extradition was ordered by the highest court of the UK. But it [extradition] is not happening. Instead, some ‘secret’ proceedings are happening. We have not been made aware of these proceedings. We are not a party. They [Mr. Mallya’s side] have not served us with anything,” advocate Rajat Nair, appearing for the government submitted.
Justice Lalit turned to Mr. Mallya’s counsel and asked him to explain the nature of this confidential proceedings. But the lawyer said he would have to first take instructions on this issue.
“We want to know what is going on? What is pending there now,” Justice Lalit asked the lawyer.
The court ordered Mr. Mallya’s side to clarify by November 2 the nature of this confidential proceedings, when it will end and by when the businessman will appear before it to accept his sentence for contempt.
The court had found no merit in his three-year-old review plea against his conviction.
The court had in May 2017 found Mr. Mallya guilty of contempt for wilful disobedience of its order to come clean about his assets and not disclosing $40 million (₹600 crore) he received from British liquor major Diageo Plc following his resignation as Chairman of the United Spirits Limited in February 2016.
In his original arguments before the apex court in 2017, Mr. Mallya had informed the court that the $40 million was one among “thousands of transactions” he did and cannot be counted as an asset. He said he had no control over that money now as he had already disbursed it among his three adult children, who are U.S. citizens.
Countering allegations made by a banking consortium led by the SBI which had filed the contempt of court petition against him, Mr. Mallya said he had already given a complete list of assets as of March 31, 2016. The court had ordered him to provide the banks with a list of his assets so that they could recover ₹9,200 crore due to them.
The banks had sought contempt action against Mr. Mallya arguing that the disbursal of the $40 million among his three children was in direct violation of a standing Karnataka High Court order that none of his assets should be “alienated, disposed of or be subjected to the creation of third party rights”.