Kingfisher group owner Vijay Mallya has seen tough times in the past few years and his luck seems to be running out with every passing day. Vijay Mallya has been living in the United Kingdom as he is on the run from India for defaulting on the payment of huge sums of loans. There was a time when it looked like the UK government had his back but the UK court has made its decision clear. Vijay Mallya was fighting to overturn a worldwide order to freeze all of his assets given by an Indian court in Karnataka. The Indian court had given the verdict that 13 Indian banks led by State Bank of India (SBI) were entitled to recover funds from the Kingfisher owner amounting to the tune of nearly 1.145 billion pounds. Judge Andrew Henshaw from UK in his verdict had upheld the order and in addition has also directed Kingfisher group chairman Vijay Mallya to pay the cost of registration of the freezing order and of Debt Recovery Tribunal of Karnataka’s judgement in Britain. Vijay Mallya has been asked to pay a total of 200,000 pounds by the Britain court for legal costs liability.
State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Corporation bank, Federal Bank Ltd, IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of Mysore, UCO Bank, United Bank of India and JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Co. Pvt Ltd are among the banks and institutions to which Kingfisher owner Vijay Mallya owes money. The 1.145 billion pounds figure had been taken by Vijay Mallya from these banks in the past. It is in this case in which the court has now asked Mallya to pay the necessary legal cost of the banks. The court order reads, “The First Defendant’s (Mallya) application for permission to appeal is refused. Any further application for permission to appeal should be made to the Court of Appeal to be dealt with by a judge of that court,” the judgment notes.”
This decision given by the UK court makes it obvious that Vijay Mallya doesn’t have much of a case on his hands and he is just trying to buy some time. The excellent work being done in the bid to bring to justice Vijay Mallya and the likes of him by PM Modi government is commendable. He is already fighting a separate case of extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering worth approximately around Rs 9,000 crores. The final hearings for the extradition case are to be held in Westminister Magistrates’ Court in London next month.
Vijay Mallya has meanwhile filed an appeal notice at the UK Court of Appeal, including an application for permission to appeal. Permission by this court will be granted only if the court thinks that there is solid ground for the appeal to succeed or if there are other compelling reasons for the appeal to be heard, which is highly unlikely in Vijay Mallya’s case.
Meanwhile Vijay Mallya is on bail and the Crown Prosecution Sevice (CPS) working on behalf of Indian authorities in the UK court believe that they have successfully established a case of fraud against the businessman. There should be no more snags in the path to Vijay Mallya’s extradition to face prosecution in India but if the PM Modi led government can pull it off prior to the Lok Sabha 2019 elections it would be a big boost for them. The Congress government would be exposed as to how it had let Mallya’s company Kingfisher operate freely for all those years and PM Modi led BJP would get public appraisal as well.