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Show me the money, SC tells Vijay Mallya with 2-week ultimatum

The Supreme Court on Thursday told liquor baron Vijay Mallya to disclose all his assets - movable and immovable and tangible and intangible - and other shareholding and beneficial interests in India and abroad by 21 April.

An apex court bench comprising Justice Kurien Joseph and Justice Rohinton Nariman asked Mallya to disclose all the assets held by his wife and children and indicate the date when he can appear before it in person.

“Senior counsel [CS Vaidyanathan], appearing for Mallya, would take specific instructions on probable date of appearance (of Mallya) in person before the court,” the court said.

The court said Mallya would also indicate in his affidavit “what is the amount he is prepared to deposit in the court for a meaningful negotiated settlement” and to prove his bonafides.

The court asked him to furnish all the details of the assets, in India and outside, held by him, his wife and children in a sworn affidavit.

As the court sought details of the assets, counsel Vaidyanathan said the same were provided to the banks in March 2010 when he gave a personal guarantee to return the loans.

At this juncture, Justice Nariman asked him to update the information.

The order came after a consortium of 13 banks led by the State Bank Of India (SBI) told the apex court that it had rejected Mallya’s offer to pay Rs 4,000 crore by September to settle his outstanding dues amounting to more than Rs 9,000 crore.

The banks had given loans to his now grounded Kingfisher Airlines.

The court asked Mallya to indicate when he could appear before it, noting the submission by senior counsel Shyam Divan to court that “for any meaningful negotiation (with senior officials of the banks), the presence of Vijay Mallya is absolutely necessary”.

The court was told that the banks have rejected the modified proposal received from Mallya on 6 April evening.

Mallya on 30 March offered the SBI to pay Rs 4000 crore in cash by September and another Rs 2,000 crore that he expects to get if he succeeds in his suit against multinational General Electric.

The court also allowed the impleadment application by the Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) and asked it file its response by 25 April.

The OBC said it was not a part of the larger consortium led by SBI but one of other two consortiums that advanced loans to Mallya.

Senior counsel SS Naganand, also appearing for the consortium of banks, said: “Any settlement that is reached will take care of all the interests.”

He said in response to a query if the settlement will also include the claims by OBC

The consortium led by SBI on Thursday told the court that they were for a “negotiated settlement” and for that to happen there should be a “full and fair disclosure of assets” held by Mallya.

There could be “no contingency” proposal (like expectation of getting Rs 2,000 crore from GE), substantial deposits had to be made to prove his bonafides and Mallya had to be present for a negotiated settlement.

Pointing out that “negotiated settlement is always good”, Divan told the court that “contest (for recovering money) is not acceptable to us (consortium of banks)”.

Besides SBI, the other banks who gave loans to Kingfisher include State Bank of Baroda, State Bank of Mysore, Axis Bank, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, IDBI Bank, Punjab National Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, UCO Bank and United Bank of India.

The next hearing of the matter would take place on 26 April.

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