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Supreme Court gives four-month sentence to businessman Vijay Mallya in contempt case

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The Supreme Court on Monday awarded four months’ jail time to businessman Vijay Mallya, accused in the case of a bank loan default worth more than Rs9,000 crore that involved his company, Kingfisher Airlines, in a contempt trial.

A bench comprised of Justice U U Lalit also handed down a Rs2,000 fine on Mallya. “Adequate punishment is required. Mallya did not display any remorseat all,” the supreme court bench stated. Supreme Court also asked Vijay Mallya to pay back $40 million plus interest within four weeks , and should he fail to do this, it could result in the attachment of his properties.

In the past, the apex courts in the hearing had stated that Mallya is “a liberated individual” within the United Kingdom and no information was made public about the case regarding Mallya there. Amicus curiae, senior attorney Jaideep Gupta, assisting the bench in the case claimed that Mallya was found guilty on two counts for not disclosing assets and breaking the restraint orders that were issued in the Karnataka High Court.

In the year 2000 the Supreme Court, while saying it’s been waiting “long enough” and could not “wait longer” to allow Mallya to be extradited out of his home in the United Kingdom to India, took the decision to continue the hearing regarding the amount of the punishment in the contempt trial against Mallya.

The Supreme Court had found Mallya to be in contempt of the court for transferring US$40m to his kids in breach of court’s orders and requested his presence in court several times. On February 10 On February 10, Supreme Court granted the last opportunity of two weeks to Mallya to appear personally or by a lawyer in the contempt proceeding against him. If the defendant fails to present himself, the court will decide to take the case to the appropriate conclusion.

Attorney General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Ministry of External Affairs clarified that it is not the Government of India’s assertion that there’s something secretive being conducted that is being handled in the United Kingdom but it is what the government was told by UK that there’s something taking place that can’t be disclosed.

In the past, Mehta had furnished a document from the his Deputy Secretary (Extradition) Ministry of External Affairs in which the court had stated the extradition process by Mallya in India in India from the United Kingdom has attained finality however, certain “confidential processes” are still pending in the UK and the specifics of these aren’t available.

Centre had also claimed that Mallya has exhausted every avenue for appeals in the UK. The Centre had told the top court that legal issues that exist in United Kingdom are preventing the extradition of the wanted Mallya However, officials of India is doing everything possible and attempting to get him extradited.

The court of supreme appeals rejected a plea by Mallya seeking to review the court’s May 2017 ruling that found the accused in contempt of court. Mallya is being accused of bank default of more than $9,000 in relation to his now extinct Kingfisher Airlines and is presently in the United Kingdom.

The Supreme Court had issued its May 9th, 2017 order based on a plea filed from a consortium of banks headed by State Bank of India (SBI) and claiming that he accused of transferring USD 40 million in the name of British company Diageo into his kids in “flagrant breach” of various court orders.

In the past, the supreme court had asked Mallya regarding his “truthfulness” regarding his disclosures of his assets and the transfer of funds towards his kids. In the meantime the highest court was deciding on pleas from banks who were seeking contempt of court and also a request to Mallya to pay USD 40 million from an offshore company Diageo to the banks in accordance with.

The banks were been subsequently claimed Mallya of hiding the facts and diverted the cash to his Siddharth Mallya and daughters Leanna Mallya and Tanya Mallya in flagrant violation of the order passed in the Karnataka High Court.

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