Mallya fails to appear before SC in contempt case

Mallya fails to appear before SC in contempt case
Mallya fails to appear before SC in contempt case

Embattled businessman Vijay Mallya, who was held guilty of contempt, today failed to make a personal appearance before the Supreme Court despite being directed to do so.

A bench comprising of Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit fixed the matter for hearing on July 14 and sought the assistance of the Solicitor General in the case.

The apex court had on May 9 held Mallya, who is presently in the United Kingdom, guilty of contempt on a plea by the consortium of lender banks, led by the State Bank of India, for his failure to furnish details of all his Indian as well as offshore assets.

It had directed Mallya to appear before it today to argue on the quantum of punishment.

The offence of contempt of court entails a maximum imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of upto Rs 2,000 or both.

India had recently asked Britain to ensure early extradition of Mallya, who is an accused in a bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

The apex court’s order had come on a plea by the consortium of banks, led by the State Bank of India (SBI), which had said that Mallya had allegedly transferred USD 40 million received from British firm Diageo to his children in “flagrant violation” of various judicial orders.

The banks had argued before the court that Mallya had wilfully disobeyed the orders and made “vague” disclosure about his assets.

The top court had on March 9 asked the liquor baron about the “truthfulness” of the disclosure of assets by him and the transfer of money to his children.

The bench had reserved its order on two pleas of lending banks seeking contempt action and a direction to Mallya to deposit USD 40 million received from offshore firm Diageo respectively.

The banks have alleged that Mallya had concealed 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.

In October last year, the court had rapped Mallya for not making full disclosure of his overseas properties and had asked him to do so within a month.

The bench had also pulled up Mallya for not giving details of USD 40 million which he had allegedly received from Diageo in February last year, saying it was of the “prima facie view” that proper disclosure as per its earlier order was not made.

The banks had on August 29 last year told the Supreme Court that Mallya had deliberately not made full disclosure of his assets including the USD 40 million he received on February 25 from Diageo.

( Source – PTI )

Bombay HC asks Service Tax Dept to revalue Mallya’s plane

Bombay HC asks Service Tax Dept to revalue Mallya's plane
Bombay HC asks Service Tax Dept to revalue Mallya’s plane

The Bombay High Court today asked the Service Tax Department, which has to recover dues of Rs 532 crore from the business tycoon Vijay Mallya, to revalue his luxury plane parked at the Mumbai airport.

After the revaluation, the HC said it would consider the department’s request to allow a re-auction of the aircraft.

A division bench headed by Justice S C Dharmadhikari asked the department to revalue the base price of the aircraft and submit a report in a sealed cover by January 19.

“Only after such a report is submitted, the court would consider the department’s request to hold re-auction as earlier auctions have failed to get a proper bid,” said Justice Dharmadhikari.

The highest bids received in the earlier three auctions were below the reserve price of Rs 152 crore.

According to the department’s petition before the high court, Mallya owes it Rs 32.68 crore as the service tax on the tickets of his Kingfisher Airlines sold between April 2011 and September 2012. In total, Mallya owes about Rs 532 crore in tax to the department, the petition said.

Service Tax Department has attached Mallya’s private jet, an Airbus 319 which can carry 25 passengers and six crew members.

Mallya, who left the country earlier this year, is also facing action after defaulting on over Rs 9,000 crore of loans from 17 banks. Courts have declared him ‘proclaimed offender’ for not appearing before them.

In May this year, the department had issued a notice advertising auction of the plane, describing it as designed “exclusively for exotic and luxurious use”.

( Source – PTI )

HC dismisses Kingfisher Airlines appeal

Kingfisher AirlinesCalcutta High Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal by Kingfisher Airlines against a trial court order that chairman Vijay Mallya and board of directors may be represented by its law officers or company secretary on a showcause notice by United Bank of India (UBI) for alleged wilful default on payment of dues of Rs 400 crore. A Bench of Jayanta Biswas and Iswar Chandra Das upheld an order of judge Dipankar Dutta, who had, on July 10, directed the UBI authorities to give a 72-hour notice to Kingfisher for fixing a date for the meeting.

Justice Dutta directed that the company’s law officers or the company secretary may appear before the bank authorities on Mallya and other board members’ behalf while dismissed the petition of Kingfisher Airlines challenging a communication by UBI that asked Mallya and other board members to meet the bank officials for alleged wilful default on payment of dues.

The airline authorities had in the petition prayed for withdrawal of the notice of wilful default by UBI and that they be allowed a personal hearing along with legal representative on the issue.

They claimed that the bank authorities have refused to allow any legal representative, which would mean a practising lawyer, to accompany Mallya or his board members for the meeting, which was scheduled to be held at the UBI headquarters here on July nine.

They submitted that the bank cited the Master Circular of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which has not kept any provision for such representation.

The counsels had claimed that as there was no provision it was the discretion of the bank concerned, but UBI disallowed its contention without citing any reason.

The counsels for UBI had stated that a credit limit of Rs 398.22 crore was sanctioned to Kingfisher Airlines, Bangalore, by the bank.

They alleged that repayment was defaulted and funds were diverted.

It was claimed that a consortium of banks with the lead bank being the State Bank of India had extended loans to Kingfisher. UBI was part of the consortium.

(Source: PTI)

Kingfisher Airlines withdraws its plea in SC

KingfisherKingfisher Airlines on Monday withdrew in Supreme Court its appeal against Karnataka High Court’s verdict allowing consortium of banks led by SBI to take possession of its prestigious property Kingfisher House in Mumbai.

As soon as the matter came for hearing before a bench headed by Justice J S Khehar, the company pleaded the court to allow it to withdraw the petition.

The Airlines had moved the Supreme Court challenging the high court’s January 29 verdict that allowed a consortium of banks to take possession of Kingfisher House.

The banks seeking possession and sale of the property are State Bank of India, Axis Bank Ltd, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank Ltd, IDBI Bank Ltd, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank Ltd, Punjab & Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of Mysore, UCO Bank, and United Bank of India.

(Source: PTI)

Kingfisher moves HC against UBI default notice

KingfisherThe grounded Kingfisher Airlines today moved the Calcutta High Court challenging a communication by the United Bank of India that asked its chairman Vijay Mallya and other board members to meet the bank officials for alleged wilful default on payment of dues to the tune of nearly Rs 400 crore .

The counsels for Kingfisher Airlines submitted before Justice Dipankar Dutta that they have prayed for withdrawal of the notice for wilful default by UBI and that they be allowed a personal hearing along with legal representative on the issue.

They claimed that the bank authorities have refused to allow any legal representative to accompany Mallya or his board members for the meeting, which was scheduled to be held at the UBI headquarters here today. They submitted that the bank cited the Master Circular of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which has not kept any provision for such representation.

The counsels claimed that as there was no provision, it was the discretion of the bank concerned, but the UBI has disallowed its contention without citing any reason. The counsels for UBI submitted that a credit limit of Rs 398.22 crore was sanctioned to Kingfisher Airlines, Bangalore, by the bank.

They alleged that repayment was defaulted and funds were diverted. It was claimed that a consortium of banks with the lead bank being the State Bank of India had extended loans to Kingfisher. UBI was part of the consortium.

They stated that it was just a showcause notice wherein the airline authorities were required to produce the accounts. After hearing both parties, Justice Dutta said that orders would be passed tomorrow.

(Source: PTI)

Pay outstanding salaries to pilots: HC to Kingfisher

kingfisherThe Delhi High Court has directed the grounded Kingfisher Airlines to pay the outstanding salaries of three of its ex-pilots who had moved the court over non-payment of salaries.

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw disposed off the case while asking the company to pay the salaries with 10 percent interest till the month salaries are due. Captain Sanjeev Kumar Ahuja had filed the case against Kingfisher Airlines seeking recovery of around Rs.26 lakh, his outstanding salary for five months from the airline.

(Source: IANS)

DGCA told to deregister 2 Kingfisher aircraft

DVB Aviation Finance Asia PTE Ltd is going to lease by German aircraft today after won a legal battle against grounded Kingfisher Airlines with the Delhi High Court asking aviation regulator DGCA to deregister two leased-out planes lying at Istanbul in Turkey

German aircraft leasing firm DVB Aviation Finance Asia PTE Ltd today won a legal battle against grounded Kingfisher Airlines with the Delhi High Court asking aviation regulator DGCA to deregister two leased-out planes lying at Istanbul in Turkey.

“The petition is allowed. DGCA is directed to deregister the two aircraft which are lying outside the jurisdiction of this court,” Justice Rajiv Shakdher said and asked the Vijay Mallya-owned airlines to furnish original documents of two leased aircraft to the German firm within four weeks.

Citing a previous judgment on the issue, the court said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) cannot withhold the deregistration of the aircraft on the ground that the airlines owe money to the government and its agencies.

“It is made clear that if any dues remain payable from the airlines, the respondent (DGCA) can take recourse to appropriate measures against respondent 2 (Kingfisher),” according to Justice Shakdher.

The court also considered an ‘irrevocable power of attorney’ executed by Kingfisher Airlines which had given power to the MNC firm to seek deregistration of planes from DGCA if breach of lease agreement takes place.

It said DGCA rules provide that the deregistration process cannot be held back.

However, DGCA had taken the stand that the process of deregistration required consent from both the airlines and the firm which has leased out the aircraft.

Kingfisher Airlines did not file its response to the petition filed by the MNC firm.

The German firm had earlier moved the court seeking a direction to the aviation sector regulator to deregister two Kingfisher planes it had leased.

Earlier, DGCA had deregistered 15 aircraft of Kingfisher to enable the leasing companies to take them back on grounds of default on their lease rentals by the grounded carrier.