New Delhi: A year after former liquor baron Vijay Mallya was declared as India’s fugitive economic offender, a special court in Mumbai on Wednesday gave a green signal to a consortium of 15 banks to utilise his movable assets towards repayment of his debt.
The directions to the 15 banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) to dispose off Mallya’s economic assets comprising financial securities and shares in his companies like that of the United Breweries Holdings Ltd (UBHL), which were attached under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in 2016, came after he was declared a proclaimed offender.
The SBI-led consortium has to recover over Rs 6,000 crore, excluding interest, from Mallya who has been residing in the United Kingdom after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed the Special Court last year that it had no objections to the same.
The latest development comes after the consortium filed an application in the special court seeking the release of his assets which could be disposed off to recover a part of the loans extended to him.
The court has, however, stayed its order till January 18 to enable the parties concerned to approach the Bombay High Court in appeal. Senior counsel Amit Desai, appearing for Mallya, said the court has ordered lifting of attachment of assets, which are UBHL shares.
Mallya, 65, a former one-term Rajya Sabha Member, who had launched the high-profile Kingfisher Airlines, slipped out of the country in March 2016 and is now residing in London.
He was arrested by the UK Police in April 2017, following which in December 2018, a UK court ordered his extradition to India which he has contested. The matter is still pending.