Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya’s lawyer, facing extradition, told the Supreme Court on Thursday that he has been incommunicado for a long time and requested the court to discharge him from representing Mallya in the matter.
A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Hima Kohli asked the lawyer to provide Mallya’s email and residential address in the UK to the court registry. Counsel submitted that he wants to be discharged from the case since he is not receiving any instructions from Mallya.
The top court permitted the lawyer to initiate the procedure for withdrawing his legal representation for the fugitive. The bench was informed that the top court had also directed the central government to take steps to secure the presence of Mallya in India.
The apex court was considering a plea filed by Mallya in relation to a monetary dispute with the State Bank of India.
In July, the Supreme Court sentenced Mallya to four months’ imprisonment for contempt of court in 2017, as he suppressed information from the court. The top court also ordered Mallya to deposit USD 40 million — which he had transferred to his family members in violation of the court orders — failing which attachment of his properties will begin.
The top court had said: “In the circumstances, in order to maintain the majesty of law, we must impose adequate punishment upon the contemnor and must also pass necessary directions so that the advantages secured by the contemnor or anyone claiming under him are set at naught and the amounts in question are available in execution of the decrees passed in the concerned recovery proceedings.”
The bench noted that Mallya never showed any remorse nor tendered any apology for his conduct, as it imposed a sentence of four months and fine of Rs 2,000 on him. It added that in case the amount of fine is not deposited within the time stipulated, Mallya would undergo a further sentence of two months.