Science

Grounds to regard Vijay Mallya a 'fugitive from justice': UK High Court

Grounds to regard Vijay Mallya a 'fugitive from justice': UK High Court

Significantly, the judge also refused to overturn a worldwide order freezing Mallya's assets and upheld a Karnataka debt tribunal's ruling that a consortium of 13 Indian banks were entitled to recover funds amounting to almost Rs 10,404 crore from the businessman.

The UK court verdict bars Vijay Mallya from making any changes in these assets; it also enables the banks to enforce the debt tribunal's judgment against Mallya and make recoveries from his assets in England and Wales. The court, however, said, "The evidence indicates that prior to March 2016, Mallya travelled fairly regularly between India and England for business and political reasons. Dr Mallya was unable to put forward any basis for contending that the disposal was not in breach of the Karnataka High Court's interim injunction, and accepted that it occurred after the Supreme Court had made clear that the injunction covered subsequently acquired assets It does, though, appear to me to have been in clear breach of the Karnataka court's order", he adds.

"There is a risk of the value of Dr Mallya's assets deteriorating, and, or, being subject to claims by other creditors, and a risk of Dr Mallya being declared bankrupt", Henshaw wrote. "Since these matters are unverified, I do not consider I can take account of them".

Mallya is waging another battle to stave off extradition in a different court in the UK.

Mallya's purchase of a Ferrari 246 GTS with an estimated value of 480,000 pounds was also questioned by the Indian banks.

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The High Court judge has also refused permission to appeal Tuesday's ruling, which leaves Mallya's lawyers with the only option of directly petitioning the UK's Court of Appeal.

Lawyers of the TLT law firm in London, who are representing the banks, said that the ruling by Henshaw will allow them to implement the judgement given by the Indian Debt Recovery Tribunal with immediate effect.

The case filed for the extradition of Vijay Mallya to India in the English court is a first of its kind where an Indian tribunal ruling has gained recognition in the UK.

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

British attorneys representing the flamboyant Mallya have been claiming in court that conditions in Tihar jail in Delhi where he is expected to be kept if extradited are appalling and since he is a British citizen, they fear that he needs to be shielded from extradition.