The Supreme Court on Monday asked a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) to reply to liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s plea seeking recall of an order asking him to disclose his assets. On April 7, the apex court directed Mallya to disclose all assets held by him and his family. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on July 25 told the Supreme Court that Mallya has not disclosed his full assets including $45 million received by him from a British firm.
He said that the liquor baron has not disclosed full details of his assets and he is accountable to the public money. The apex court, after noting the submissions by Attorney General, issued a notice to Mallya and asked him to respond within four weeks on the plea of consortium of banks led by State Bank of India seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against him.
On July 14, Rohatgi claimed that Mallya had provided wrong details of his assets in a sealed cover to the apex court. He further said a lot of information had also been concealed, including a cash transaction to the tune of Rs 2500 crore, which amounted to contempt of court. Earlier, the court had sought details of assets from Mallya in a sealed cover.
Recently, the consortium of banks had alleged that Mallya was not cooperating in the investigation of cases against him and was averse to disclosing his foreign assets. In a rejoinder affidavit to Mallya’s reply, the banks had said that disclosure of overseas assets by him and his family was significant for recovering the dues. Mallya had said the banks had no right over information regarding his overseas movable and immovable assets as he was an NRI since 1988.
The banks’ contempt petition said that Mallya and his company, Kingfisher Airlines, have tried to sell assets to defeat the proceedings initiated against them before a debt recovery tribunal in Bengaluru. The banking consortium had moved the debt recovery tribunal against Kingfisher Airlines Ltd in 2013 for defaulting on loans. The consortium of 17 banks are owed a combined Rs.9,091 crore by the defunct Kingfisher Airlines. The banks have informed the court that they were willing to negotiate a settlement.