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SC Reserves Order In Vijay Mallya's Review Plea Against 2017 Contempt Verdict

Radhika Roy
27 Aug 2020 6:14 AM GMT
SC Reserves Order In Vijay Mallyas Review Plea Against 2017 Contempt Verdict

Supreme Court has reserved the judgement in the Review plea filed by fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya against the May 2017 order of the SC holding him guilty of contempt of court for transferring money to his children in violation of the Court's order.

A Bench comprising of Justices UU Lalit and Ashok Bhushan presided over the matter and observed that there were allegations of failure to disclose assets and of siphoning off of money against Mallya.

Accordingly, the judgement was reserved in the Review Plea.

In the previous hearing, the Bench had sought for answers as to why the Registry had not listed the Review Petition for the last three years. However, as the Reply to one of the Intervention Applications was not on record, the Counsel on behalf of Mallya sought time to do the same.

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.

In the previous hearing on June 19, Justice Lalit had yet again sought for an explanation from the SC Registry for not listing the review petition filed by Mallya for three years. The Bench further directed for the names of the officials who had dealt with the file in the last three years to be brought to them. The explanation was to be submitted within a period of two weeks.

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