The Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) in Bengaluru on Thursday adjourned the hearing against troubled businessman Vijay Mallya’s, defunct Kingfisher Airlines and other defendants on Friday.
A consortium of 17 secured creditors led by public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) had filed applications seeking recovery of unserviced debts in excess of R9,000 crore from Mallya.
The DRT, which resumed hearing on Thursday, had to adjourn the matter as some of the defendants including SBI failed to submit proof of affidavits before the DRT and sought more time to submit the same. Hearing their plea Presiding Officer of DRT, Justice C R Benakanahalli took serious objection to their plea and said he cannot give more extensions in view of the Supreme Court directive for early disposal of the case.
He, however, agreed to give one more day’s time and asked all the defendants to file their objections by Friday and adjourned the hearing. Also, the hearing will be held on a daily basis so as to dispose the case as ordered by the Supreme Court, he said. “I don’t want any more submissions to be made. Please understand my difficulty, I have to follow the orders of the Apex Court.
Try to understand the gravity of the situation and please assist me in disposing the case before July 9, 2016,” he told counsels for defendants present at the court.
Counsels for SBI and other defendants agreed to submit their evidences before the commencement of final hearing on Friday.
Counsel appearing for Diageo Plc filed a limited affidavit to set ‘records straight’.
Diageo had submitted the copy of its settlement agreement with Vijay Mallya, on May 12. The Tribunal on May 17 directed Diageo Plc not to disburse the $40 million, a part of the $75 million payout deal, to Mallya.
The DRT, on March 7, had barred Diageo from paying the $75 million exit payout to Mallya till the loan default case was settled.
Both Vijay Mallya and Diageo Plc, which now owns United Spirits (USL), reached an agreement on February 25, according to which Mallya agreed to step down as chairman of USL in return for a payment of an exit payout of $75 million by Diageo.
Mallya also agreed for a non-compete clause across the world, except UK, for a period of five years.
The Supreme Court, in its order dated April 24, directed the DRT to dispose the pending OA (original application) within two months.
The SBI and consortium of banks had moved DRT in August 2013 for recovery their dues in excess of R6,900 crore then. Subsequently, the dues have gone up and exceeded R9,000 crore till date.