NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi government (Centre) on Monday informed the Supreme Court that beleaguered business tycoon Vijay Mallya’s extradition case is over, but some “secret” proceedings is on in the UK and government is not a party to it, which is delaying his extradition to India.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, contended before a bench headed by Justice U.U. Lalit that it is neither aware of the nature of these secret proceedings nor it is a party to it, and also it has not been served with anything.
The Centre’ counsel submitted that Mallya’s extradition was ordered by the highest court of the UK, yet it is not happening.
In May, in a major setback Mallya lost his application seeking leave to appeal in the UK Supreme Court, after the London High Court declined to entertain his appeal challenging the extradition order to India on charges of fraud and money laundering in connection with unrecovered loans to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
The bench asked Mallya’ counsel Ankur Saigal to informed the court on the nature of these confidential proceedings and when it was likely to get over.
Justice Lalit asked Saigal to inform the court when would his client appear before the apex court so that hearing on sentencing could be done in his presence for contempt of court, for which he has already been found guilty.
The top court asked Mallya’s counsel to provide answers to these queries by November 2.
Saigal said he will take instructions from his client.
On August 31, the Supreme Court had dismissed Mallya’s plea seeking review of a 2017 judgment which held him guilty for contempt of court. The top court also sought Mallya’s presence before the court on October 5.
The top court had held him guilty of contempt, as Mallya did not truthfully disclose the full account of his assets.
A bench comprising Justices U.U. Lalit and Ashok Bhushan, dismissing the review petition, had said: “In our considered view, the attempt on part of the respondent No.3 (Vijay Mallya) to have re-hearing in the matter cannot be permitted nor do the submissions make out any error apparent on record to justify interference in review jurisdiction. These Review Petitions are, therefore, dismissed.”
In May 2017, the apex court held him guilty of contempt of court for transferring $40 million to his children, and ordered him to appear on July 10, 2017 to argue on the quantum of punishment.
The bench said let the explanation be furnished within two weeks. “The Review Petition shall, thereafter, be considered on merits,” it added.
In 2017, the apex court passed the order on a contempt petition against Mallya by a consortium of banks led by the SBI. The banks claimed Mallya transferred the $40 million from Daigeo to his children’s accounts, and did not use this money to clear his debt. Banks cited this as a violation of judicial orders.