SBI urges SC to dismiss plea against wind up UBHL

By: |
October 9, 2020 3:30 AM

On August 31, the Supreme Court had ordered the industrialist to be present before it on October 5 in the case related to contempt of court for transferring a $40 million payment from Diageo to his three children.

SBI senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi told a bench led by Justice UU Lalit that Mallya is facing bankruptcy proceedings in the UK, besides extradition proceedings.SBI senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi told a bench led by Justice UU Lalit that Mallya is facing bankruptcy proceedings in the UK, besides extradition proceedings

The State Bank of India (SBI) on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to dismiss a plea by Vijay Mallya’s firm United Breweries Holdings (UBHL) against its winding up for failure to pay admitted liabilities to creditors as per the corporate guarantees extended to the defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

SBI senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi told a bench led by Justice UU Lalit that Mallya is facing bankruptcy proceedings in the UK, besides extradition proceedings. “Appeals should be dismissed as Mallya is behind all this and is playing ducks and graces,” he said, requesting the apex court to give it some more time to seek “other instructions and also find about the ongoing proceedings.”

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on October 26.

On Monday, the government had informed the judges that fresh “secret” proceedings against Mallya had started, though the fugitive businessman had already lost his appeals in the UK’s highest court against his extradition to India. However, the government claimed that it was not aware of the exact nature of the ongoing proceedings as it had neither been notified nor was a party to the proceedings, thus the extradition was getting delayed.

Mallya has been 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 lost his appeals in the UK Supreme Court against his extradition to India.

The apex court then asked Mallya’s counsel for a concrete response on November 2 about the nature of the fresh proceedings in UK, when they are likely to end and when Mallya will appear before the Supreme Court, so that the matter of his sentence in contempt proceedings can be heard.

On August 31, the Supreme Court had ordered the industrialist to be present before it on October 5 in the case related to contempt of court for transferring a $40 million payment from Diageo to his three children. It also directed the Ministry of Home Affairs “to facilitate and ensure” Mallya’s presence before it on October 5.

However, during the hearing of the winding up issue, UBHL had offered to settle its Rs 14,518.02 crore dues and keep it alive. The lenders rejected the proposal on the grounds that it was neither “bona fide” nor “genuine” and the liabilities were far in excess of its inflated assets.

The ED had in June and September 2016 passed two provisional orders attaching all assets of UBHL, Mallya and contributory companies as proceeds of the crime under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The apex court had rejected the UB Group chairman’s petition seeking a review of its 2017 order that held him guilty of contempt of court for transferring the $40 million payment. It had on May 10, 2017, held Mallya guilty of contempt of court.

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