Vijay Mallya's lawyer urges SC to relieve him from case

He was found guilty of contempt of court in a case filed by a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India.
Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya
Fugitive businessman Vijay MallyaANI

NEW DELHI: A lawyer representing fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to relieve him from representing Mallya, who is residing in the United Kingdom, as he is not receiving any communications from him.

Advocate EC Agarwala told a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli that he has not been receiving any instruction from Mallya and thus, he should be discharged from the case.

"I want to be discharged from this matter. I am not receiving any instructions...," he said. The bench allowed the lawyer to follow the process for discharge from the case and asked him to inform the Court Registry about Mallya's e-mail id and present residential address.

In July, the apex court awarded four months in jail to Mallya who was found guilty of contempt of court in 2017 for withholding information from the court.

It had also imposed a cost of Rs. 2,000 on Mallya while observing that he showed "no remorse" for his conduct and did not appear before it during the sentencing hearing.

The top court had also directed Mallya to deposit USD 40 million with eight per cent interest within four weeks failing which, attachment proceedings will be initiated against his properties.

It had said the adequate sentence must be imposed on him to "uphold the majesty of the law".

In 2017, the top court had held Mallya guilty of contempt of court for withholding information from the court about transferring USD 40 million to his children in violation of the court's order and sought his presence before it on various occasions.

He was found guilty of contempt of court in a case filed by a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India.

The apex court, during the hearing of the contempt case, had noted that Mallya behaves like "a free person" in the United Kingdom and no information was forthcoming about the proceedings concerning Mallya there.

On February 10, the Supreme Court granted the last opportunity of two weeks to Mallya to personally present or through counsel in the contempt case against him and if he fails to do so, the court will take the matter to logical conclusion.

The apex court had dismissed a plea filed by Mallya seeking a review of its May 2017 order holding him guilty of contempt. Mallya is an accused in a bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines and is presently in the United Kingdom.

The Supreme Court had issued its May 9, 2017, order on a plea by a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI), claiming he had allegedly transferred USD 40 million received from British firm Diageo to his children in "flagrant violation" of various judicial orders.

The banks had accused Mallya of concealing the facts and diverted the money to his son Siddharth Mallya and daughters Leanna Mallya and Tanya Mallya in flagrant violation of the orders passed by the Karnataka High Court.

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