Vijay Mallya was not involved in daily affairs of Kingfisher Airlines: HC told

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya was not involved in day-to-day affairs of Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) and cannot be held liable in several cheque-bouncing cases filed against him by Delhi airport operator DIAL, his counsel told the Delhi High Court today.

PTI| Updated: Jul 15, 2016, 19:32 PM IST
Vijay Mallya was not involved in daily affairs of Kingfisher Airlines: HC told

New Delhi: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya was not involved in day-to-day affairs of Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) and cannot be held liable in several cheque-bouncing cases filed against him by Delhi airport operator DIAL, his counsel told the Delhi High Court today.

The submission was made before a bench of Justice P S Teji where Mallya's counsel sought setting aside of trial court orders summoning him as an accused in the cheque bounce cases by citing that there was a full-time CEO.

"It is an admitted fact that respondent (DIAL) was well aware about the status of petitioner (Mallya) qua KFA and still chose not to proceed against him (earlier).

"It was obviously because DIAL was aware that he was a non-resident Indian for the purpose of tax and foreign exchange regulations in India and his role was restricted to directing matter of policy on behalf of KFA and he was not involved in day-to-day operations of KFA as there was a full time CEO (accused no.2)," senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, who was representing Mallya, submitted.

The trial court had summoned Mallya as accused following a complaint by Delhi International Airport Ltd, which operates the capital's IGI Airport, claiming that a cheque for Rs one crore issued by KFA on February 22, 2012 was returned to them a month later containing the remarks "fund insufficient".

DIAL has filed four cases in June 2012 against Mallya over KFA's cheques totalling Rs 7.5 crore not being honoured.

The grounded airline had issued the cheques towards payment for services availed by them at the IGI airport here

Mallya's counsel also claimed that five Kingfisher KFA employees had earlier been summoned as accused in the case on GMR-led DIAL's complaint and were granted bail.

"However, no summons was issued to him (Mallya). Notice was framed against the accused persons, who were summoned by order issued on June 7, 2012. In November 2013, another application was filed and Mallya was impleaded as accused no.6 and on January 13, 2014 he was summoned as an accused," the counsel submitted.

Senior counsel Geeta Luthra, appearing for DIAL, said the interim relief to Mallya was for initial days only and he has to appear before the trial court tomorrow.

Luthra further submitted that being the MD of the company at that time, he was responsible for day-to-day affairs of KFA and cannot escape his liability.

"He is evading the proceedings. He should be here, because this is public dues and loss to the exchequer which he will have to pay," Luthra submitted.

The court after hearing the arguments reserved its order on Mallya's plea which also sought direction for quashing of complaint of 2012 pending before the Metropolitan Magistrate.

Mallya, who was denied permission by the government to be re-elected as managing director of Kingfisher Airlines, has approached the court seeking quashing of September 2, 2014 and January 13, 2014 orders of the trial court by which he was summoned as an accused in the case.

The magistrate had in January 2014 asked Mallya to appear before him as an accused and defend himself in trial.

In September 2014, the sessions judge had dismissed a revision application against the previous order