India Abroad

British HC Rules, Indian Banks Can Seize Absconder Vijay Mallya's Assets In The UK

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| May 9 , 2018 , 11:43 IST

Absconding business tycoon Vijay Mallya on Tuesday lost a lawsuit in the UK filed by Indian banks seeking to collect $1.5 billion, with the British High Court stating that an Indian judgement against him can be legally enforced against his assets in England and Wales.

The UK high court judge Andrew Henshaw QC pronounced the judgement in favour of the consortium of 13 state-owned banks led by State Bank of India to whom Mallya owes more than Rs 9,000 since escaping to London in 2016.

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Henshaw ruled that India's Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) judgement from January 19, 2017 which states that Mallya owes around Rs 9,000 crore to the banks, can now be legally registered and enforced in England.

“There is a risk of the value of Mallya’s assets deteriorating, and, or, being subject to claims by other creditors, and a risk of Mallya being declared bankrupt," said Henshaw.

"Mallya’s departure from India, to where he has never since returned, and his resistance to India’s application to extradite him to face trial on serious criminal charges, provide some grounds for regarding him as a fugitive from justice,”  he added.

Vijay Mallya, the former owner of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, left India in 2016, claiming that he was going to visit his children, but since then has not returned, dispute summons from India. Apart from his troubles in India, Mallya is also fighting cases in London on charges of money laundering.

Extradition attempts to India have so far been unsuccessful, as Mallya claims the extradition order is politically motivated.