The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from liquor baron Vijay Mallya as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him for incomplete disclosure of assets. A bench headed by Justice Kurian Joseph, while seeking response from Mallya, who is wanted in a series of loan default cases, also extended time for the debt recovery tribunal (DRT) to complete hearings in the loan default case. A bank consortium has sought “complete and detailed disclosure of assets” from Mallya and also asked the apex court to initiate contempt proceedings against him for defying its earlier directions over disclosure of assets.
Alleging that Mallya has not complied with the apex court’s order to fully disclose his assets, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the banks, told the bench that “this gentleman (Mallya) has not complied fully with the orders of the court and he has not disclosed all the details about his assets. He has also not disclosed the amount of $45 million received by him from Diageo (British liquor major)”.
The consortium said a lot of information had also been concealed, including a cash transaction to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore, which amounted to contempt of court. Recently, the lenders had also alleged that the United Breweries chairman was not cooperating in the investigation of cases against him and was averse to disclosing his foreign assets.
In April, the top court had directed Mallya to disclose all assets held by him and his family after a consortium of creditors rejected his offer to repay Rs 4,000 crore to settle the debts of the grounded Kingfisher Airlines (KAL). KAL owes Rs 9,091 crore to the consortium of 17 banks, including SBI.
Pursuant to the top court’s order, Mallya — who has fled the country and is currently in the UK — had disclosed a list of assets held by him in India to the apex court in a sealed envelope. They tycoon had pegged his domestic assets at Rs 2,014.60 crore and overseas assets at Rs780 crore.
The consortium said Mallya has not obeyed its directions of April 7 to disclose all his properties in any form whatsoever as on March 31, 2016. According to lenders, the discloser is “prima facie vague and lacks any material particulars”.