Indian banks' battle against Mallya far from over

Indian banks' battle against Mallya far from over

In a major blow to business tycoon Vijay Mallya, a United Kingdom high court on Tuesday ruled in favour of Indian banks seeking to collect more than $1.55 billion from him.

"In a weakened global economy, non-performing loans present a real challenge for lenders, particularly where customers have assets located around the world. Dr Mallya was unable to put forward any basis for contending that the disposal was not in breach of the Karnataka High Court's interim injunction, and accepted that it occurred after the Supreme Court had made clear that the injunction covered subsequently acquired assets It does, though, appear to me to have been in clear breach of the Karnataka court's order", he adds.

Making matters worse for Mallya are reports that the court also dismissed Mallya's request to appeal against the order.

Mallya was arrested in London 18 April on a warrant issued by Indian authorities accusing him of conspiring to defraud India's IDBI Bank through a Rs9,100 crore ($1.4 billion) loan to Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, which he founded in 2005 and shut down seven years later.

The businessman was represented by Nicholas Peacock and George Heyman of Maitland Chambers, who were instructed by the law firm Macfarlanes LLP. Pvt Ltd as the applicants.

Mallya fled in 2016, days before the Debt Recovery Tribunal's Jan 2017 verdict, claiming that he wished to be near his loved ones (children).

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The case filed for the extradition of Vijay Mallya to India in the English court is a first of its kind where an Indian tribunal ruling has gained recognition in the UK.

The judge noted: "The Claimants [Indian banks] say there are numerous other assets which have been linked to Dr Mallya in various sources on the internet, but which he denies that he owns".

The "freezing order" involves Mallya and related concerns being "restrained" until further order, from removing from the jurisdiction any of their assets in the jurisdiction up to a limit of 1,145,000,000 pounds and in any way disposing of, dealing with or diminishing the value of any of their assets whether they are inside or outside the jurisdiction up to the same value.

Meanwhile, Mallya remains on a 650,000-pound bail bond since his arrest on an extradition warrant by Scotland Yard in April past year.

The prosecution, which was representing the banks, successfully argued that Mallya "willfully defaulted" on the loans in spite of his considerable financial resources.

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