Supreme Court sentences Vijay Mallya to 4 months jail in contempt case [11.7.22]

The Supreme Court sentenced fugitive tycoon Vijay Mallya to four months jail and a fine of Rs 2,000 in a contempt case.

Mallya has been directed to deposit $40 million with interest within four weeks. The top court has instructed authorities to take attachment proceedings in case of his default.

In 2020, the Supreme Court denied Mallya's request to reconsider his 2017 contempt conviction for transferring USD 40 million to his children against court instructions.

Mallya has been in the UK since March 2016. He is on bail on an extradition warrant executed by the Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017.

The Supreme Court was scheduled to pronounce on July 11 its order on the quantum of sentence against fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, accused in bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, in a contempt case where he has been found guilty.

The apex court had heard senior advocate and amicus curiae Jaideep Gupta on various aspects related to the contempt law and even decided to permit the counsel, who was earlier representing Mallya, to file written submissions, if any, in the case by March 15.

Mallya's counsel had on March 10 told the bench that he was handicapped in the absence of any instruction from his client, who is in the United Kingdom, and would not be able to argue on the quantum of sentence to be awarded in the contempt case.

"We have been told that there are some proceedings going on in the United Kingdom. It is like a dead wall, something is pending we do not know. What is the number (of cases) we do not know. The point is how long can we go on like this so far as our jurisdictional power is concerned," the top court had orally observed.

The top court had said it has given multiple opportunities to Mallya to appear either personally or through a lawyer and had even given specific directions in its order dated November 30, 2021.

Earlier, a consortium of lending banks led by State Bank of India had moved the apex court alleging that Mallya was not following the court orders on repayment of loan which was then over Rs 9,000 crore.

It was alleged that he was not disclosing the assets and moreover, transferring them to his children in violation of the restraint orders.

On November 30 last year, the top court had said it cannot wait any longer and the sentencing aspect in the contempt matter against Mallya would be dealt with finally.

Mallya was held guilty of contempt in 2017, and the matter was thereafter to be listed to hear him on the proposed punishment to be awarded to him.

The apex court had noted that as per an office memorandum, under the signature of the deputy secretary (extradition) of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the proceedings for extradition have attained finality and Mallya has "exhausted all avenues for appeal" in the UK.


11 Jul 2022