Vijay Mallya extradition: SC asks govt to file status report in 6 weeks

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November 3, 2020 6:15 AM

During the last hearing, the government had argued that while the extradition process of Mallya was over, certain “secret proceedings” were still pending. “No information from the London High Commission as of now,” the SG said when asked how much time is needed.

The matter will be heard next in the third week of January.

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the government to submit a status report on extradition of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya within six weeks. The status report was sought after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed a Bench led by Justice UU Lalit that the UK government had told the Indian High Commission in the country that under the UK laws details of pending proceedings cannot be revealed.

During the last hearing, the government had argued that while the extradition process of Mallya was over, certain “secret proceedings” were still pending. “No information from the London High Commission as of now,” the SG said when asked how much time is needed.

The matter will be heard next in the third week of January.

Meanwhile, the apex court refused to discharge Mallya’s lawyer EC Agarwala from representing Mallya before it, saying he will continue to appear in the case.

The Bench is at present hearing the issue related to quantum of punishment following the conviction of Mallya, who was on May 10, 2017 found guilty of contempt of court for transferring $40 million to his children despite the court orders restraining him from doing so.

The money was part of $75 million settlement with Diageo Group when he resigned from the chairmanship of United Breweries group in February 2016. Both the Karnataka High Court and Debt Recovery Tribunal in Bengaluru had earlier asked him not to alienate his assets.

Mallya was scheduled to appear before the Supreme Court in the contempt case following dismissal of his review plea against his conviction on August 31.

The government has been trying to get the businessman extradited. Mallya has been based in the UK since March 2016 and remains on bail on an extradition warrant executed three years ago by Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017. In May, Mallya had lost his appeals in the UK Supreme Court against his extradition to India.

Last month, the Supreme Court dismissed the fugitive industrialist’s ‘offer’ to pay the huge dues of United Breweries Holdings to lenders, a move that paved the way for the 102-year-old firm’s winding up and liquidation.

The SC had declined to interfere with the Karnataka High Court order that upheld the winding up of the liquor company for recovery of dues payable by Kingfisher Airlines. UBHL had appealed against the HC’s March 6 order that upheld the winding-up order passed in February 2018 for its failure to pay admitted liabilities to unsecured and secured creditors as per the corporate guarantees extended to defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

UBHL’s offer to settle its Rs 14,518 crore dues as per the corporate guarantees extended to defunct Kingfisher Airlines was also rejected by the lenders on the grounds that it was neither “bonafide” nor “genuine” and the liabilities were far in excess of its ‘inflated’ assets.

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