Supreme Court has dismissed the Review Petition filed by fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya against its May 2017 order holding him guilty of contempt of court for transferring money to his children in violation of the Court's order.
The Bench comprising Justices Uday Umesh Lalit and Ashok Bhushan also directed Mallya to appear before the Court on 5th October 2020 at 02:00 p.m.
The bench said that it was an error on part of this Court to have observed and proceeded on the premise that no reply was filed by respondent No.3 to the response filed by the banks. Examining the reply filed by Mallya, the bench observed that the averments therein were dealt with and rejected in the judgment under review.
In our considered view, the attempt on part of the respondent No.3 to have re- hearing in the matter cannot be permitted nor do the submissions make out any "error apparent on record" to justify interference in review jurisdiction, the bench said.
The bench has also direct the Ministry of Home Affairs to facilitate and ensure the presence of Mallya before it on 5th October.
In 2017, a two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit had held that Mallya was guilty of contempt for willful disobedience of the Supreme Court's order in a plea filed by a consortium of creditors lead by State Bank of India (SBI). Further, Mallya had been asked to appear before the Court hearing on the sentence. However, as Mallya had left India in March 2016, the proceedings were stalled due to non-appearance. SBI's plea contended that Mallya had disobeyed the Court's orders by making "vague and unclear disclosure of his assets" by transferring $40 million from Diageo Plc. to his children, and by ignoring the summons to appear in Court.
Mallya had been declared a "Fugitive Economic Offender" by the Government of India in January 2019. The United Kingdom has recently acceded to India's request to extradite Mallya. Though he has moved the Courts in UK, challenging the extradition order, he has not been able to secure any success.