The Supreme Court of India ahead of new developments on Monday has sentenced fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya to a four months jail period for a 2017 contempt of court case.
The top court found him guilty of the violation of orders and even imposed a fine of 2000₹ which needs to be deposited within four weeks to the legal service authority of the Supreme Court, otherwise, a sentence of two months will be added. He will undergo punishment when he is brought back to India.
Besides paying the fine, the court has also ordered him to deposit the $40 million with 8% interest to recovery officers, which are in dues with multiple banks within 4 weeks.
He was convicted in 2017, for not fully disclosing his payment of $40 million from a British spirit-making company Diageo and transferring $40million to his children and estranged wife in violation of the court’s order.
His review plea was dismissed in August 2020 and that “adequate punishment” is necessary as Mallya showed “no remorse”, said the top court bench headed by Justice UU Lalit.
It further added that Mallya did not appear before the court during the sentence hearing and said it has given many opportunities for him to appear before the court, personally or through a lawyer, even giving detailed directions in the order of November 30, 2021.
A Bench comprising Justice UU Lalit, S.Ravindra Bhat, and PS. Narasimha reserved its order as the proceeding hit a “dead wall” in March. Further, the counsel of Mallya told the bench that in the absence of any instruction from his client, he is impaired and could not argue for the sentence awarded in the contempt case.
The 66-year-old liquor baron faces charges of money laundering and fraud when he borrowed money through Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) from several Banks. He has been out on bail since his arrest in 2017. The Queen’s Bench Division comprising Justice Irwin and Justice Elisabeth Laing, in April 2020 dismissed Mallya’s plea against extradition to India.
A plea was filed by a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) in the Supreme court of India seeking the repayment of estimated debt of 1.05 billion owed by now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines. It is likely to come up in courts next year.
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