Mon, 24 Jan 2022

New Delhi [India], November 30 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it has waited "long enough" and cannot "wait longer now" for fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya to get extradited from the United Kingdom to India and decided to go ahead with the hearing on quantum of punishment in the contempt case against him on January 18, 2022.

A Bench of Justices UU Lalit, Ravindra Bhat and Bela Trivedi said, "We've waited sufficiently long enough and we cannot wait longer now. This has to see the light of the day and the process has to get over."The top court had held Mallya guilty of contempt of court for transferring USD 40 million to his children in violation of the court's order and sought his presence before it on various occasions.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for Ministry of External Affairs, furnished to the Bench a statement of the Ministry.

After perusing the document of Deputy Secretary (Extradition) Ministry of External Affairs, the Bench said the proceedings for extradition of Mallya to India from the United Kingdom has attained finality but certain "confidential proceedings" are pending in the UK, details of which are not known.

Centre also said that Mallya has already exhausted all his avenues of appeal in the UK.

Posting the matter for January 18, the Bench said it is up to Mallya to appear in person before it or advance arguments through his counsel.

The apex court also appointed senior advocate Jaideep Gupta as an amicus curiae to assist it in the matter.

Earlier, the Bench had rejected a request made by advocate EC Agarwala seeking his discharge as Mallya's counsel in the case.

On the previous occasion, the Centre had informed the top court that legal complexities in the United Kingdom are preventing the extradition of fugitive Mallya, but the government of India is making all efforts and doing its best to extradite him. It had said that some legal proceedings are still pending in the United Kingdom which is delaying the extradition and the under UK law, extradition can't take place till legal issues are resolved.

The Centre had further said that extradition of Mallya was ordered by the highest court of the United Kingdom but it has not been put into effect. The government had said it is not aware of the "secret' ongoing proceedings in the UK which are delaying Mallya's extradition.

The apex court had earlier sought a status report from the Centre on the extradition of Mallya. It had directed for Mallya's presence before it after dismissing his review petition against his contempt conviction.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had dismissed a plea filed by Mallya seeking a review of its May 2017 order holding him guilty of contempt.

Mallya is accused in a bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines and is presently in the United Kingdom.

The Supreme Court had issued its May 9, 2017, order on a plea by a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI), claiming he had allegedly transferred USD 40 million received from British firm Diageo to his children in "flagrant violation" of various judicial orders.

Earlier, the apex court had asked Mallya about the "truthfulness" of his disclosure of assets and the transfer of money to his children.

At that time, the top court was dealing with pleas of lending banks seeking contempt action and a direction to Mallya to deposit USD 40 million received from offshore firm Diageo to the banks respectively.

The banks had then accused Mallya of concealing the facts and diverted the money to his son Siddharth Mallya and daughters Leanna Mallya and Tanya Mallya in flagrant violation of the orders passed by the Karnataka High Court. (ANI)

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