SC defers contempt sentencing hearing as Mallya fails to appear

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New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday deferred a hearing on sentencing of absconding beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya for contempt as he did not appear before the court in response to its notice.

A bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit adjourned the matter to July 14, as counsel appearing for Mallya told the bench that they have no instructions.

The apex court had on May 9 held Mallya guilty of contempt for not appearing before it as directed in the first hearing and not making full disclosure of his assets and that of his family in a case wherein a consortium of 13 banks, led by the State Bank of India, is seeking recover of over Rs 9,000 crore given to his now grounded Kingfisher airlines.

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It had sought his response on the quantum of punishment.

The top court had on July 25, 2016, issued notice to Mallya on a contempt plea by the consortium of banks led by the SBI for not makings full disclosure of assets, both in India and abroad, held by him, his wife and children.

This has followed its April 7, 2016, order asking Mallya to disclose all assets — movable and immovable and tangible and intangible — and other shareholdings and beneficial interests in India and abroad held by him, his wife and children.

By this order, the court had also asked Mallya to indicate the date when he could appear before it in person.

Mallya, in a hearing on April 26, 2016, had, through his counsel, said: “If I come, I will be taken to Tihar Jail. When my liberty is at stake, how can you expect me to come back.”

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