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Contempt case: SC to decide punishment for Vijay Mallya on Jan 18, extradition formalities in final stages

The top court has scheduled the matter for disposal in January, where it will decide the quantum of punishment for him.

Contempt case: SC to decide punishment for Vijay Mallya on Jan 18, extradition formalities in final stages-dnm
New Delhi, First Published Nov 30, 2021, 5:35 PM IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday has said that it can wait no longer for fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya to get extradited from UK and that it will proceed on January 18 in in a contempt of court, in which he was held guilty in July 2017. Mallya was held guilty of contempt of court for transferring $40 million to his children, in violation of a court order.

The Central government on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that the extradition of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya to India from the United Kingdom has attained finality, but certain “confidential proceedings” are pending in the UK. “Mallya has already exhausted all his avenues of appeal in the UK,” the government told the apex court.

Mallya, an accused in a bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, is in the UK since March 2016. He is on bail on an extradition warrant executed three years ago by Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017.

“We cannot wait for his extradition to India any longer”, the court said and posted the matter for the hearing on quantum of punishment on Jan 18, 22.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted a note by the Ministry of External Affairs for the court's consideration.

The Court stated that even if Mallya - who is now in the United Kingdom from where the Indian Government is trying to extradite him- is not present before the Court on that day for any reason, it will hear the counsel on his behalf.

The SC also appointed Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta as an amicus curiae to assist it in the matter. On an earlier occasion, the Court had rejected the request made by Advocate EC Agarwal seeking his discharge as Mallya's counsel in the case.

On November 2, last year, the top court had asked the Centre to file a status report in six weeks on the confidential legal proceedings pending in the UK on the extradition of Mallya to India.

SC has said that it is up to Mallya to appear in person or advance arguments through his counsel. But the matter has to see the light as it is getting adjourned from 2017, when he was found guilty of contempt. Only sentencing is pending for last four years, it said.

While fixing the date for hearing the case next on January 18, the court noted that Mallya was embroiled in extradition proceedings before the UK courts. He has purportedly exhausted all the avenues of appeal in the UK.

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