The Supreme Court on Monday will pronounce its order on the quantum of sentence against fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, accused in bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, in a contempt case where he has been found guilty.
A bench comprising Justices U U Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat, and P S Narasimha, had on March 10 reserved its order in the matter observing that proceedings against Mallya have hit a “dead wall”.
Mallya, who is in the United Kingdom since March 2016, was found guilty of contempt of court in 2017 for transferring $40 million to his children, in a case filed by the State Bank of India.
Mallya’s counsel had on March 10 told the bench that he was handicapped in the absence of any instruction from his client, who is in the United Kingdom, and would not be able to argue on the quantum of sentence to be awarded in the contempt case.
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On February 10, observing that it had waited “sufficiently long”, the apex court had fixed the contempt case against Mallya for hearing and had given him the last opportunity to appear before it either personally or through his lawyer.
The top court had said it has given multiple opportunities to Mallya to appear either personally or through a lawyer and had even given specific directions in its order dated November 30, 2021.
The SC had found Mallya guilty in 2017 on two counts of contempts, first for not disclosing his assets, and second for “flagrant violation” of orders passed by the Karnataka High Court.
Earlier, a consortium of lending banks led by State Bank of India had moved the apex court alleging that Mallya was not following the court orders on repayment of loan which was then over Rs 9,000 crore. It was alleged that he was not disclosing the assets and moreover, transferring them to his children in violation of the restraint orders.
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The top court had in 2020 dismissed Mallya’s plea seeking review of the 2017 verdict which held him guilty of contempt for transferring USD 40 million to his children in violation of court orders.
Mallya is on bail on an extradition warrant executed by the Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017.