More trouble for Vijay Mallya, UK HC calls 'fugitive from justice'

More trouble for Vijay Mallya, UK HC calls 'fugitive from justice'

Kenneth Drake
May 10, 2018

The Judge refused to overturn a worldwide order freezing Mallya's assets.

Vijay Mallya, who remains on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April previous year, will return for the last leg of his ongoing extradition trial at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on July 11, after which the court is expected to set a timeline for judgment in that case. On May 8th, a United Kingdom court upheld a decision by the Karnataka Debt Recovery Tribunal regarding Kingfisher tycoon Vijay Mallya's outstanding dues and maintained a worldwide freeze on his assets.

"Following the decision today, the banks are now considering the enforcement options available to them to recover the sums due from Dr Mallya under the DRT judgment, which is now enforceable in England and Wales as if it were a judgment given by the English courts".

Mallya is wanted in India for Kingfisher Airlines' default on loans worth almost Rs 90 billion and some other matters. Mallya was arrested in London a year ago and is fighting another lawsuit to prevent extradition in a different court across town.

"There is a risk of the value of Dr Mallya's assets deteriorating, and, or, being subject to claims by other creditors, and a risk of Dr Mallya being declared bankrupt", Henshaw wrote. The judge has also refused Mallya permission to appeal Tuesday's ruling, meaning his attorneys will have to directly petition the Court of Appeal. He has been accepted as a wilful defaulter. The ruling will also give the Indian government's extradition proceedings against Mallya, which are expected to conclude in July 2018, a much-needed boost.

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The judgment of the England High Court, though related to Mallya's case, has much wider implications.

The Crown Prosecution Service, representing the Indian government, had claimed that Mallya acquired loans through misrepresentation and had no intentions of repaying them. The judgment holds significance in the times of globalization when it is common for a business entity to have commercial interests in more than one country.

Mallya's lawyers argued that he has been a non-resident Indian since 1988 and has lived in England since 1992.

TLT acted for the Indian banks in successfully defeating two applications - first, an application to set aside the first recorded case of a judgment of the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) in India being registered by the English High Court, and the second, to discharge an associated worldwide freezing order.