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Vijay Mallya review plea | Supreme Court asks its Registry to explain delay in listing review petition

Businessman Vijay Mallya. File

Businessman Vijay Mallya. File   | Photo Credit: Jack Taylor

The fugitive businessman had appealed against a verdict of contempt

In an unexpected twist in the Vijay Mallya case, the Supreme Court court has asked its own Registry to explain a three-year delay in listing the fugitive businessman’s review petition against a verdict of contempt against him.

Also read: Vijay Mallya asks govt to accept loan repayment offer, close case against him

The Supreme Court had on May 9, 2017 found the fugitive businessman 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 United Spirits Limited in February 2016.

Prolonged delay

Taking up Mr. Mallya’s review petition in their chambers on June 16, a Bench of Justices U.U. Lalit and Ashok Bhushan said it would get to the bottom of the prolonged delay in listing the case before going into its merits.

“Review petition was not listed before the court for last three years. Before we deal with the submission raised in the review petition, we direct the Registry to explain why the review petition was not listed before the court concerned for last three years,” the Bench said in an order via circulation.

The court also directed the Registry to reveal the names of the officials who had dealt with the case file in the past three years. It sought the explanation in two weeks.

Also read: U.K. cites legal hurdle in Vijay Mallya extradition

Mallya’s stand

In his original arguments before the apex court in 2017, Mr. Mallya had told the Supreme Court that the $40 million was one of “thousands of transactions” he did and could not 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 State Bank of India, 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 Mr. Mallya 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.”

Also read: Disappointed, but will continue legal fight against extradition: Vijay Mallya

 

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 8:39:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vijay-mallya-review-plea-supreme-court-questions-own-registry/article31872313.ece

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