In the Vijay Mallya row, the British High Court has ordered the allegedly fraudulent business tycoon and Kingfisher Airlines owner Vijay Mally to pay a minimum of 200,000 pounds (Rs 1.8 crore) to 13 Indian banks including the State Bank of India, which is the cost of legal case being pursued against him to recover debts.
After alleged scams worth billions, Indian businessman and Kingfisher Airlines owner Vijay Mallya had fled to the United Kingdom, of which he holds citizenship. In a bid to recover billions worth of debts from Mallya, a total of 13 Indian banks including India’s largest state-owned State Bank of India are on legal run. In March 2016, the consortium of all 13 banks approached the Supreme Court of India to stop Mallya from going abroad due to the pending money his companies owed them, but by then, he was already abroad and hasn’t appeared in India since then. Cases were then filed by Indian banks in the UK High court, which was where Mallya has been living since 2016.
In a recent development, UK High Court Judge Andrew Henshaw refused to remove the worldwide order freezing Mallya’s assets and supported Indian Supreme Court’s ruling on the Mallya money laundering scam. Henshaw had also upheld that all 13 Indian banks led by State Bank of India (SBI) – including the Bank of Baroda, Corporation bank, Federal Bank Ltd, IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of Mysore, UCO Bank, United Bank of India and JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Co. Pvt Ltd were entitled to recover funds amounting to nearly 1.145 billion pounds (Rs 8,000 crore).
While the British High Court will set a special court that is yet to assess the final cost that Mallya has to pay to the bank, in meantime, the court has ordered Mallya to pay 200,000 pounds towards this legal costs liability. The cost will be considered to be a payment for all legal costs that are made by the banks to recover their money from the embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya. Also, the court has also ordered Mallya to pay the costs of registering worldwide freezing order and of the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) of Karnataka’s judgment in Britain. Mallya is now due for final hearings of the extradition and money laundering case by the end of next month.