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On Vijay Mallya sentencing, SC to go ahead regardless of his absence

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Ready to go ahead with the sentence hearing against fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya in a contempt case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it cannot wait for him forever and posted the matter for hearing on January 18, 2022.

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Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has been asked to be present before the top court at 2 pm with written instructions from the Ministry Of External Affairs.

The court said that even though Vijay Mallya is not present, hearing on quantum of sentence can take place as his lawyer has been appearing in court. It also added that the businessman had already exhausted all his avenues of appeal.

Vijay Mallya, who is an accused in a bank loan default case of over ₹ 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, is presently in the United Kingdom and India is trying to extradite him.

The businessman was held guilty of contempt of court in 2017, for failing to disclose transfer of 40 million USD to his children’s accounts and for ignoring summons to appear in court. The Supreme Court had in August last year dismissed his review petition in the case.

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The top court’s 2017 order had come on a plea by a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI), which had said that Vijay Mallya had allegedly transferred USD 40 million received from British firm Diageo, to his children in “flagrant violation” of various judicial orders.

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla in July this year said India has made its best case on Vijay Mallya and has the “best assurance” from the UK authorities of his extradition to face charges of fraud and money laundering related to unpaid loans to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

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