The court of United Kingdom has allowed UK Enforcement officer to sell fleet of Vijay Mallya’s cars to recover the loans of consortium of Indian Banks. The range of luxury vehicles which are to be sold include a 2016 Mini Countryman (AD16 1YX), a 2012 Maybach 62 (VJM1), a 2006 Ferrari F430 Spider (B055 VJM), a 2014 Range Rover Autobiography Supercharged (F1 VJM), a Ferrari F512M (M811 VGR), and a Porsche Cayenne (OO07 VJM). “We can confirm that the High Court Enforcement Officer has acted on the banks’ instructions in seizing and selling these cars. The cars are expected to be sold shortly,” said Paul Gair, partner at law firm TLT, who is leading the case on behalf of the Indian banks. “This is one part of the banks’ ongoing enforcement of their judgment against Dr Mallya,” he added.
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 amount of 1.145 billion pounds were taken by Vijay Mallya from these banks in the past. TLT law firm led the case for these banks in UK court and won a landmark judgement.
The Fugitive Economic Offenders ordinance was approved by cabinet in April this year to address the issue of economic offenders like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi avoiding criminal prosecution. The ordinance defines a fugitive economic offender as “a person who has an arrest warrant issued in respect of a scheduled offense and who leaves or has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.” The case against Vijay Mallya was registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) which allows for confiscation and seizure of properties obtained from the laundered money, such actions were still subject to the processes of criminal prosecution. After the bill was approved and Mallya became first offender to be prosecuted under this he agreed to pay up the loans. Vijay Mallya claimed in a media statement that he is “making every effort” to settle his dues but he had been made the “Poster Boy” of bank default and a ‘lightning rod for public anger’. He also released a letter to the public which he had written to the Prime Minister and Finance Minister dated April 15, 2016. He said “I wrote letters to both the PM and the Finance Minister on 15th April 2016 and am making these letters public to put things in right perspective. No response was received from either of them.”
A week after Mallya released the statement on payment of bank loans, UK court ordered seizure of his properties in London. United Kingdom court permitted to UK High Court Enforcement Officer to enter Vijay Mallya’s properties in Hertfordshire, near London. The High Court Enforcement Officer, including any enforcement agents acting under his authority, may enter Ladywalk, Queen Hoo Lane, Tewin, Welwyn and Bramble Lodge, to search for and take control of goods belonging to the First Defendant (Mallya). Further, the High Court also granted permission to the Enforcement Officer, including any Enforcement Agent acting under his authority, to use reasonable force to enter the properties if necessary. Now as selling of cars is also ordered by UK Court, the consortium of Indian banks could hope for a total recovery very soon.