Vijay Mallya has no intention of returning to India: Patiala court

Mallya’s claim that he wants to return to India but his passport has been revoked was malafide and abuse of process, it added.

In the wake of liquor baron Vijay Mallya evading summons in Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) violations case, Patiala court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him on Friday, November 4.

Reportedly, the court said that Mallya has scant regard for the law of the land and has no intention to return to India, the court said. Mallya’s claim that he wants to return to India but his passport has been revoked was malafide and abuse of process, it added.

In August the court had asked Mallya to be present in the court on November 4. The Ministry of External Affairs was also asked to send a non-bailable warrant to Mallya in London where he is currently staying. Advocate N K Matta, appearing for the ED, also told the court that under the provisions of law, Mallya can be given travel documents, even if he has no passport. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) counsel also opposed Mallya’s plea seeking exemption from personal appearance on the ground of lack of passport.

It has been reported that GMR-led Delhi International Airport (DIAL), which operates the capital’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), had first moved the Patiala House Court after three cheques, each for Rs 7.5 crore, issued by Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines were not honoured.

Reportedly, in July the court had cancelled the exemption from personal appearance granted to Mallya in the case lodged for allegedly evading summons in connection with a Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) violation case. Mallya was directed to personally appear before the court on September 9 which he failed to.

Even in October, he was directed by the Supreme Court to file a detailed affidavit about his entire assets within a month after being. It was regarding a plea filed by a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) against Vijay Mallya for the recovery of an amount that is more than Rs 6,000 crores.

Reportedly, the banks had earlier argued that Mallya had not been completely honest regarding all his assets. Mallya had cited the failure to disclose the severance package of $40 million he received from British firm Diageo Plc as part of his exit from United Spirits Ltd. The banks had accused Mallya’s disclosures of being very vague.

It is to be noted that the consortium has accused Mallya of deliberately not making full disclosure of his assets. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said a disclosure statement of assets submitted by Mallya in April does not contain a “whisper” about the details, forms and locations of his assets. The banks urged that this action of “deliberate” concealment went against the very letter and spirit of the court’s direction to Mallya to disclose all his assets.

A Mumbai court had previously issued a non-bailable warrant against Mallya in a cheque bounce case. The Supreme Court too is seized off a matter relating to Mallya.

At present, Kingfisher owes over Rs 9,000 crore to 17 banks including the SBI, IDBI Bank, PNB, BoI, Bank of Baroda, United Bank of India, Central Bank, UCO Bank, Corporation Bank, Indian Overseas Bank , Federal Bank , Punjab and Sind Bank, Axis Bank among others. So far, the ED has attached Mallya’s properties worth over Rs 8,000 crore under PMLA after the agency expanded its probe into the case. On August 23, the ED registered a fresh case against Mallya and Kingfisher for loan default of Rs 6,027 cr.