Twelve state-owned banks on Tuesday petitioned a London court demanding that fugitive Indian business tycoon Vijay Mallya be declared bankrupt over unpaid debts to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore. According to a report, the banks, led by the State Bank of India, told the court that the businessman hadn’t paid anything towards clearing his massive dues.
Lawyer Marcia Shekerdemian, representing the petitioners, argued in court that they were appealing against Mallya in a United Kingdom court since he had lived in the country for 20 years and owned assets worth millions of pounds in the country.
A news report in Bloomberg noted that Mallya’s assets in the UK included a townhouse worth more than 30 million pounds, a mansion valued at 13 million pounds as well as at least three yachts. Besides, Mallya reportedly also owns shares in Force India, a Formula One racing team which is now known as Racing Point.
Responding to the petitioners, Mallya’s lawyer Philip Marshall argued in a written submission that the bankruptcy petition be quashed since the same debt was being pursued through the Indian courts.
Marshall further requested the court to adjourn the hearing on the petition till a decision was reached on Mallya’s appeal against the extradition order against him, Bloomberg reported.
The beleaguered businessman is out on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April 2017. The extradition proceedings had been initiated on behest of Indian authorities who have accused the former Rajya Sabha parliamentarian of wilfully defaulting on his loans.
The extradition order against Mallya was signed in July last year by UK’s home secretary Sajid Javid, following which the absconding Indian businessman was allowed to appeal against the order. Mallya’s appeal is set to be heard in the court in February next year.
The banks which accused Mallya of financial fraud include the State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank, IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Punjab National Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, UCO Bank, Union Bank of India and the State Bank of Mysore.