The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to controversial liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, who owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to various banks, on plea seeking contempt proceedings for non-disclosure of his assets.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the court that the businessman was not candid about the court order and he was accountable for the “public money” that he owed to the lenders as the bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman issued notice to Mallya, who is the chairman of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Mallya had been directed by the court to disclose all assets held by him and his family, after a consortium of creditors spurned his offer to repay Rs 4,000 crore to settle the debts of his grounded Kingfisher Airlines Ltd on April 7.
Rohatgi said Mallya had not disclosed the US $45 million he got from British liquor company Diageo.
The petitioner — a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) that lent money to Kingfisher Airlines — told the court that Mallya has not complied with its April 7 order asking him to fully disclose the details of assets held by him, his wife and children.
The top court by its April 7 order had directed Mallya to disclose all the assets — movable and immovable, tangible and intangible — and other shareholdings and beneficial interests in India and abroad held by him, his wife and children by April 21.
By the April 7 order, the court had also asked Mallya to indicate the amount that he was prepared to deposit before it to show his bona fides for a meaningful negotiation with the banks seeking the recovery of loans advanced to Kingfisher Airlines.
The consortium of 13 banks headed by the SBI is seeking the recovery of more than Rs 9,000 crore in principal and interest, loaned to Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines.