Finally, there is something to cheer for Indian banks on cases related to liquor baron Vijay Mallya. The order now enables this consortium of banks to enforce the Indian judgement against Mallya’s assets in England and Wales. Last week, Mallya wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking justice.
A UK High Court judge has issued an enforcement order allowing a consortium of 13 Indian banks to seek and recover funds worth Rs 9,000 crore owed to them by liquor baron Vijay Mallya.
India is seeking Mallya’s extradition over loans to him tied to Kingfisher Airlines after the businessman, co-owner of the Force India team, moved to Britain in March last year. He is fighting several lawsuits in the UK and India over fraud and money-laundering allegations. He has denied the charges.
The order now enables this consortium of banks to enforce the Indian judgement against Mallya’s assets in England and Wales.
The order grants permission to the UK High Court enforcement officer to enter the tycoon's properties in Hertfordshire, near London and permits the officer and his agents entry to Ladywalk and Bramble Lodge in Tewin, Welwyn, where Mallya is currently based.
Mallya has made an application in the UK High Court of Appeal seeking permission to appeal the order.
The order relates to the UK's Tribunal Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 and follows a UK High Court ruling in May, which refused to overturn a worldwide order freezing Mallya's assets and upheld an Indian court's ruling that the Indian banks were entitled to recover funds.
It marked the first recorded case of a judgement of the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) in India being registered by the English High Court, setting a legal precedent.
PNB boss Sunil Mehta said he was happy with the court order and added that the bank will do a fresh valuation of Vijay Mallya's assets now.
While it was difficult to comment on what the fresh valuation of Vijay Mallya's assets would be, Mehta said, and added the bank would now pursue the disposal of Vijay Mallya's assets.
In a high court ruling dated May 8, Judge Henshaw had refused to overturn a worldwide order freezing Mallya's assets and upheld an Indian court's ruling that the consortium of 13 Indian banks.