New Delhi: The Supreme court today issued a notice to former liquor baron Vijay Mallya on a plea seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against him for not disclosing his assets as ordered by the apex court. The petition was moved by a consortium of banks led by State Bank of India who are trying to recover around Rs 9000 crore from the business tycoon.
In April, the court had directed Mallya, the chairman of United Breweries, to disclose all assets held by him and his family, after a consortium of creditors rejected his offer to repay Rs. 4,000 crore to settle the debts of the grounded Kingfisher Airlines.
Last month, a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai had declared Mallya a proclaimed offender in a loan default case. On March 13, Mallya claimed that the consortium had already recovered Rs. 2, 494 crore from Kingfisher Airlines since 2013.
A bench comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman had agreed to hear the fresh interim application of banks on July 18 after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi mentioned it for urgent hearing.
Rohatgi claimed Mallya had provided wrong details of his assets in a sealed cover to the apex court.
He further said a lot of information has also been concealed, including a cash transaction to the tune of Rs 2500 crore, which amounted to contempt of court.
Earlier, the court had sought details of assets from Mallya in a sealed cover.
Recently, the consortium of banks had alleged that Mallya was not cooperating in the investigation of cases against him and was averse to disclosing his foreign assets.
In a rejoinder affidavit to Mallyas reply, the banks had said that disclosure of overseas assets by him and his family was significant for recovering the dues.
Rohatgi had earlier said that the beleagured businessman has also not agreed to deposit "substantial amount" as part of of Rs 9,400 crore loan due on him to establish his bonafide".
Mallya had said the banks had no right over information regarding his overseas movable and immovable assets as he was an NRI since 1988.
He had also claimed that as an NRI, he was not obliged to disclose his overseas assets, and added that his three children, wife, all US citizens, also need not disclose their assets. "Overseas assets were not considered while granting loans," he had said in a statement.
The court on April 7 had directed Mallya to disclose by April 21 the total assets owned by him and his family in India and abroad while seeking an indication from him when he would appear before it.
It had asked Mallya, who owes over Rs 9,000 crore to around 17 banks, to deposit a "substantial amount" with it to "prove his bonafide" that he was "serious" about meaningful negotiations and settlement.