Banks Urge Supreme Court To Issue Arrest Warrants Against Vijay Mallya

Banks have urged the apex court to issue arrest warrants against Vijay Mallya.

Vijay Mallya arrives for a news conference in Mumbai, India (Photographer: Adeel Halim/Bloomberg)
Vijay Mallya arrives for a news conference in Mumbai, India (Photographer: Adeel Halim/Bloomberg)

In response to Supreme Court’s notice on Vijay Mallya’s plea in which he sought recall of the contempt notice against him, the State Bank of India-led consortium of 17 banks urged the court on Thursday to issue arrest warrants against Mallya.

In a written reply, accessed by BloombergQuint, banks told the court that Mallya’s plea is not “tenable in law.”

The present application (by Vijay Mallya) not only deserves to be dismissed with costs but the Honourable Court may issue warranty for the arrest of the alleged contemnor or an order for attachment of property under rule 11 of Rules to regulate proceedings for contempt of the Supreme Court 1975.
Excerpt of written affidavit filed by SBI-led consortium

Last month, banks had pressed for Mallya’s presence in the Supreme Court in the ongoing contempt proceedings related to the Rs 9,000 crore loan default case.

Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi, who has been arguing on behalf of these banks, alleged that Mallya was deliberately breaching the apex court’s directions, said lawyers who were part of the proceedings on Monday. The government’s top lawyer told the court that Mallya has not responded to the contempt plea filed by banks and that his lawyers have not given any indication so far that he’d make a personal appearance. According to Supreme Court rules, all individuals and companies facing contempt proceedings must appear in person unless the court grants an exemption, Rohtagi pointed out before the court.

The country’s top court last month agreed to hear a contempt plea filed by the State Bank of India-led consortium against Mallya in the Rs 9,000 crore loan default case. Banks have argued that Mallya has not been candid with the court regarding his assets, citing the failure to disclose the severance package he received from Diageo Plc as part of his exit from United Spirits Ltd.

On April 26, the Supreme Court had directed Mallya to disclose his assets to the consortium. Banks also said disclosures made by Mallya on his Indian and overseas properties were “vague”.

After Vijay Mallya resigned from the Board of United Spirits Ltd. on February 25, the company informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that Mallya would be paid $70 million (approximately Rs 515 crore), out of which $40 million would be paid upfront. Banks have alleged that Mallya did not inform the court about this transaction which amounts to “wilful disobedience” of court orders.

Mallya has not denied the existence of his bank account held in Edmond de Rothschild Bank, Geneva. However, details of his bank account are not mentioned in the list of foreign assets. This is an act of wilful concealment.
Excerpt of written affidavit filed by SBI-led consortium

Banks also refuted Mallya’s allegation that all 17 banks did not reject the three proposals made by him for repayment of over Rs 9,000 odd crore in instalments.

Mallya filed a fresh application last month seeking recall of notice issued by the apex court on banks’ contempt plea. On September 27, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether Mallya, who has already been declared a proclaimed offender by an anti-money laundering court in Mumbai, should be booked for contempt and summoned for personal appearance.