In yet another jolt to absconding businessman Vijay Mallya, the Supreme Court on Tuesday found liquor baron guilty of contempt of court and summoned him on July 10 for transferring USD 40 million to his children in violation of the court's order.
New Delhi: In yet another jolt to absconding businessman Vijay Mallya, the Supreme Court on Tuesday found liquor baron guilty of contempt of court and summoned him on July 10 for transferring USD 40 million to his children in violation of the court's order.
"We have found respondent number 3 (Mallya) guilty of contempt of court on two grounds," a bench comprising Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit said.
The apex court directed Mallya to appear before it on July 10 to argue on the quantum of punishment in the matter.
The 61-year-old Mallya, who lives in the United Kingdom and is facing extradition proceedings, is wanted in India for alleged loan default and money laundering.
The Consortium of Banks had moved the Supreme Court seeking contempt proceedings after Mallya received USD 40 million from the British firm Diageo Plc in February last year and transferred the money to his children in flagrant violation of various judicial orders, including those passed by the Debt Recovery Tribunal and the Karnataka High Court, Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi told the Supreme Court.
The consortium of banks had also 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 Mallyas reply, the banks had said that disclosure of overseas assets by him and his family was significant for recovering the dues.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had earlier said that the beleagured businessman has also not agreed to deposit "substantial amount" as part of of Rs 9,400 crore loan due on him to establish his bonafide".
Mallya had said the banks had no right over information regarding his overseas movable and immovable assets as he was an NRI since 1988.
He had also claimed that as an NRI, he was not obliged to disclose his overseas assets, and added that his three children, wife, all US citizens, also need not disclose their assets. "Overseas assets were not considered while granting loans," he had said in a statement.
The court on April 7 last year had directed Mallya to disclose by April 21 the total assets owned by him and his family in India and abroad while seeking an indication from him when he would appear before it.
It had asked Mallya, who owes over Rs 9,000 crore to around 17 banks, to deposit a "substantial amount" with it to "prove his bonafide" that he was "serious" about meaningful negotiations and settlement.