The Supreme Court on Monday awarded four months’ jail to fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya and imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 under contempt charge, and added that adequate punishment is must to uphold the majesty of the law.
In March, the top court had reserved the order on sentence to Mallya, who was found guilty of contempt in 2017 for disobeying court’s order for not disclosing full particulars of assets in case between the SBI and Kingfisher Airlines.
A bench headed by Justice U.U. Lalit also ordered Mallya to deposit USD 40 million, which he had transferred to his family members in violation of the court orders.
The top court noted that Mallya did not show any remorse for his conduct and also did not appear before the court. The top court ordered Mallya to deposit USD 40 million with interest within four weeks, failing which attachment against his properties will be initiated.
On February 10, the top court gave final opportunity to Mallya, seeking his appearance, before it pronounced sentence in the contempt case filed by banks, in which he was found guilty.
The top court said it has found Mallya guilty of contempt and punishment has to be imposed. It added that going by normal logic the contemnor has to be heard, but he has not appeared before the court so far.
The bench clarified that if Mallya is not present in the hearing, then the matter will be taken to its logical conclusion.
According to a judgment delivered on July 14, 2017, Mallya was found guilty of contempt for not paying Rs 9,000 crore worth of dues to the banks despite repeated directions. Additionally, he was also accused of not disclosing his assets and also secretly trying to dispose of the assets to defeat the purpose of recovery proceedings.
On October 6 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs told the Supreme Court that the UK Home Office has intimated that there is a further legal issue which needs to be resolved before Vijay Mallya’s extradition takes place and this issue is outside and apart from the extradition process having effect under the UK law.