Vijay Mallya can be regarded as 'fugitive from justice': UK HC

Vijay Mallya can be regarded as 'fugitive from justice': UK HC

A super luxury yacht is owned by Vijay Mallya, before he abandoned it previous year after his arrest on an extradition warrant in the UK.

"The sword of Tipu Sultan is an item of historic importance which Dr Mallya bought at an auction in 2003 for the equivalent of GBP 188,400 and states that he gave away in 2016 as his family members considered that it was bringing him bad luck", Judge Henshaw notes in his judgment.

A consortium of 13 Indian banks may have won a high court battle against Airlines founder on Tuesday, but there are still significant hurdles for the banks ahead. This verdict is now seen as a huge success for the authorities who were working hard to recover debts from Mallya.

Henshaw ruled that India's Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) judgement from January 19, 2017 which states that Mallya owes around Rs 9,000 crore to the banks, can now be legally registered and enforced in England.

"In dismissing Dr Mallya's application, the High Court has demonstrated its willingness to recognise judgments granted by courts in other jurisdictions, giving parties opportunities to enforce their judgments against any assets held here". The tribunal had ordered the freezing of Mallya's assets all across the world. "Since these matters are unverified, I do not consider I can take account of them". A group of 13 Indian banks led by the country's largest lender, the state-owned State Bank of India, has been trying to lay their hands on him. If they wish to seek recourse, they will have no option but to directly petition the UK's Court of Appeals.

"This is a positive and big step forward".

United Kingdom high court had earlier given enough time to Mallya's lawyer to respond.

The claim relates to a judgment of the debt recovery tribunal in Karnataka, which concluded that Mallya was "liable" to pay the banks a sum of INR 62,033,503,879.42 plus interest.The UK court had earlier upheld the Indian court's injunction and given Mallya's lawyers more time to respond due to the ongoing extradition trial at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, which is now set for a hearing on July 11.Lawyers for Mallya declined to comment after the hearing.

They accepted the evidence presented by the banks and the government of India to prove "dishonesty" on the part of Vijay Mallya on the ground that he acquired the loans through misrepresentation and had no intentions of repaying them.

Extradition attempts to India have so far been unsuccessful, as Mallya claims the extradition order is politically motivated.

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