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Supreme Court bench to verify how Vijay Mallya’s case came up before it

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New Delhi | Updated: February 27, 2017 6:33:19 PM

The bench said it would verify how the case filed against Mallya by a consortium of banks, led by the State Bank of India, was listed before it when another apex court bench was already hearing the matter.

Vijay Mallya. (Reuters)

The hearing on allegations by banks that beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya had allegedly transferred USD 40 million to his children violating court orders, could not take place in the Supreme Court today as it came up before a different bench. The bench said it would verify how the case filed against Mallya by a consortium of banks, led by the State Bank of India, was listed before it when another apex court bench was already hearing the matter. “There is a system of listing. It cannot be listed like this,” a bench compsiring Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and U U Lalit said after it was apprised that the case was being heard by another bench headed by Justice Kurian Joseph.

“We will verify how this matter has been listed before us,” it said and posted the matter for hearing on March 3. At the outset, the bench was informed that this matter was being heard by another bench comprising Justices Joseph and R F Nariman. When the court said it would hear the case only after verifying how this matter was listed before it, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, representing the banks, said “my submission is that this matter should not go to another bench”. The bench said “but there must be some reason. We will check it”.

Earlier, a bench headed by Justice Joseph had asked Mallya to file his response on the allegations by the banks that he had allegedly transferred USD 40 million to his children in “flagrant violation” of various judicial orders. The banks had alleged that the orders of the Debt Recovery Tribunal and Karnataka High Court have been violated by Mallya by transferring the amount to his children, that he and his firm owed over Rs 6,200 crore to the banks and the money should have been deposited here.

In October last year, the court had rapped Mallya for not making full disclosure of his overseas properties and had asked him to do so within a month. The bench had also pulled up Mallya for not giving details of USD 40 million which he had allegedly received from British firm Diageo in February last year, saying it was of the “prima facie view” that proper disclosure as per its earlier order was not made. The Attorney General had alleged that the USD 40 million belonged to the consortium of banks which was now stashed in Mallya’s Swiss bank account and said that it should be brought back to India or the Supreme Court.

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The consortium had on August 29 last year told the Supreme Court that Mallya had deliberately not made full disclosure of his assets including the $40 million he received on February 25 from Diageo. It had asked Mallya, who owes over Rs 9,000 crore to around 17 banks, to deposit a “substantial amount” with it to “prove his bonafide” that he was “serious” about meaningful negotiations and settlement.

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