Diageo files objections against tribunal order in Mallya case

Bengaluru, April 5 (IANS) British liquor major Diageo Plc on Tuesday filed objections against the Debt Recovery Tribunal’s March 7 order to stop paying liquor baron Vijay Mallya $75 million (Rs.515 crore) as part of its severance package.

Tribunal presiding officer Justice C.R. Benakanahalli posted the case for hearing to April 13 after recording objections filed by Diageo and other defendants, including United Spirits Ltd (USL), in which it has controlling stake, Standard Chartered Bank and Unit Trust of India Investment Advisory Services Ltd.

The tribunal passed the interim order on an application filed by State Bank of India (SBI) on February 26, a day after Diagio signed a deal with Mallya for resigning as chairman and non-executive director of USL and not competing with it in the spirits business worldwide over the next five years.

The order also attached the package amount till the tribunal heard the case finally heard and disposed of the original application the SBI-led consortium filed before it in June 2013 against Mallya, his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines for defaulting on loans amounting to Rs.9,091 crore, including interest.

Diageo, however, confirmed to IANS on March 9 that it had paid Mallya $40 million (Rs.275 crore) on February 25 as part of the $75 million package, with the balance ($35 million) to be paid in equal instalments over the next five years.

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