A Hyderabad Court today sentenced long-grounded carrier Kingfisher Airlines' former Chief Financial Officer A. Raghunathan to 18-month imprisonment in connection with two cheque bounce cases filed against him and businessman Vijay Mallya by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd.
Third Special Court Magistrate M Krishna Rao also imposed Rs 20,000 fine in each case on Raghunathan after the latter appeared before the court.
Earlier, on several occasions, the order on quantum of punishment had got adjourned as the warrant issued against Raghunathan was still pending.
Mallya has also been convicted in the case, but as he was not present in court, his sentence was deferred.
The matter relates to two cheques involving Rs 50 lakh each issued by Kingfisher Airlines Ltd to GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), which operates Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, towards charges for using the facilities at the airport for Kingfisher Airlines flights.
A member of the legal team representing GHIAL on Tuesday submitted before the court that fresh addresses of the Kingfisher Airlines and Vijay Mallya have to be secured.
The court was earlier informed that Raghunathan had appeared before different courts here in the past few days in connection with NBWs issued against him after he had moved the High Court, and got the warrants recalled.
"However, as regards Raghunathan, he has not appeared before this court. For this the complainant wants the case to be posted to September 22 as Raghunathan is to appear in some other courts in the (same) court complex premises on that date. On the request of complainant, call on September 22," the Magistrate had said.
The court had earlier issued non-bailable warrants against Kingfisher Airlines, its chairman Mallya and Raghunathan on the ground of dishonouring the two cheques.It had earlier said that before imposing the quantum of punishment, it would hear the plea of the convicts (Mallya and others, who have so far not appeared/attended the court), and then pass its order with) regard to sentencing them or imposing fine or both.
As per the GMR counsel, a total of 17 cases have been filed against Kingfisher Airlines in different courts over outstanding amount of Rs 22.5 crore, which it owes to GMR. The cases are in different stages of trial.