Supreme Court gives Vijay Mallya one last chance to appear; Next hearing on February 24

The Supreme Court on Thursday granted embattled businessman Vijay Mallya a ‘last chance’ to appear before the Supreme Court and

points out that he is fleeing the clutches of the law.

The court adjourned the hearing of the contempt case against Mallya until February 24, giving him two weeks as a last chance to appear before him personally or through a lawyer. If he doesn’t, the court will take the case to a logical conclusion, the court said.

According to the amicus curiae, “Mallya was given adequate opportunity to appear and there is no breach of the principle of natural justice. Mallya was given adequate notice, he chose not to appear and does not prevent not the Supreme Court to move forward with his sentencing.”

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“Mallya has refrained from appearing before the Supreme Court and we must pass sentence in his absence,” he said.

Last year, the bench, comprising Justices SR Bhat and Bela M Trivedi, said Mallya was free to make submissions, as deemed appropriate, and if for any reason he was not present before the court, an attorney on his behalf may advance submissions.

“What we wish to do is that we will list this case for elimination in the second week of January because we have waited long enough, we cannot wait now. It has to come into being at some point or another and the process has to end as well,” the bench said.

Earlier, the Supreme Court rejected his plea seeking a review of its 2017 verdict which found him in contempt for transferring $40 million to his children in violation of court orders.

On January 18, 2021, the Center told the High Court that the government was doing everything possible to extradite Mallya from the UK, but the process was being delayed due to some legal issues in the case.

Mallya, accused in a default of more than Rs 9,000 crore case involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, has been in the UK since March 2016. He is free on bail under an extradition warrant executed there is three years old by Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017.

Mallya, who fled to the UK, is being questioned by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with an alleged bank fraud of Rs 9,000 crore linked to the operations of his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

The 65-year-old liquor baron lost his case against extradition to India and as he was denied leave to appeal to the UK Supreme Court, his extradition to India is become final, the ED had said earlier. More than Rs 22,000 crore (Rs 22,585.83 crore in precise figures) of bank funds were said to have been “swindled” in these two cases.

(Edited by : Jomy Jos Pullokaran)

First post: STI

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