In a major setback to liquor baron Vijay Mallya, the Supreme Court on May 9 held the businessman guilty of contempt of court. The apex court has also asked Mallya to appear before it on July 10. It is being reported that the guilty verdict will help strengthen India’s case in the UK and also help in the extradition proceedings.
If India does manage to extradite Mallya who fled to the UK last year, he will face six months of jail term. The Supreme Court pronounced the contempt order in response to a petition filed by a consortium of banks, led by the State Bank of India who also alleged that he transferred $40 million to the bank accounts of his children instead of the paying off the money he owes the banks.
Last month, Scotland Yard police arrested Mallya in London connection with the Rs 9,000 crore money laundering case against him. “Vijay Mallya was arrested on behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to the accusations of fraud,” the Scotland Yard police released a statement as saying. However, just hours after he was arrested, he was granted bail by the Westminster court.
Mallya even took a jibe at the media soon after the reports of him being granted a bail surfaced. “Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in Court started today as expected,” he tweeted.
Apart from the money owes the banks Mallya faces an enquiry for money laundering in a case registered by the Enforcement Directorate. An FIR has been filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation regarding the loans that Kingfisher took in an illegal way.