Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Vijay Mallya held guilty of contempt, SC to sentence him on July 10

The Supreme Court on Tuesday held controversial liquor baron Vijay Mallya guilty of contempt of court for not honestly disclosing all his assets and diverting $40 million to overseas accounts of his family members in violation of the court's order.

A bench of Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit directed Mallya, who left for the UK to dodge criminal proceedings against him for not refunding bank loans worth over Rs 9,000 crore, to personally appear before the court on July 10 when it would decide the quantum of punishment to be awarded to him.

Mallya is not likely to abide by the order to appear before it as he would be arrested by government agencies the moment he lands in the country, but the apex court's verdict convicting him of contempt would strengthen India's case in a United Kingdom court to get him extradited.

The order against Mallya came a day after the court held that loan defaulters deserved to be dealt with an iron hand and it can serve to reinforce the message. The court agreed with the contention of a consortium of 17 banks that the flamboyant businessman did not make a disclosure of his assets to the Supreme Court.

The banks which have lent money to Mallya said he intentionally kept the court in dark about $40 million he received in February last year from British liquor major Diageo for stepping down as chairman and MD of United Spirits Ltd.

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