Appeal court rejects Mallya plea

Vijay Mallya has lost his attempt to appeal the decision of a U.K. court relating to a lawsuit brought by a consortium of Indian public sector banks seeking to recover £1.145 billion worth of assets.

The Court of Appeal on Tuesday rejected the attempt to launch an appeal against the ruling of Judge Andrew Henshaw, at the Business and Property Courts of the Queen’s Bench Commercial Court earlier this year, which allowed the registration of the Bangalore Debt Recovery Tribunal’s 2017 order against Mr. Mallya in the UK, and the implementation of a Worldwide Freezing Order that prevented him from removing — or diminishing — his assets in England and Wales.

The May verdict was a legal victory for the 13 banks, led by the State Bank of India, whose case runs separately to the attempt by the Indian government to extradite Mr. Mallya back to India to face charges relating to fraud and money laundering.

In January 2017, the Debt Recovery Tribunal’s Bengaluru Bench allowed recovery proceedings against Kingfisher Airlines Ltd and Mr. Mallya, directing them to repay Rs. 6,203 crore to the banking consortium. The initial asset freeze order in London from November gave Mr. Mallya a £5,000 a week allowance to live on, which was increased to just below £20,000 following an application by his lawyers.

According to a court order in June, relating to the case, High Court Enforcement Officer or other enforcement agents acting through their authority may enter Ladywalk, Vijay Mallya’s country residence, to search and take control of goods belonging to him. A further order also from June required Mr. Mallya to pay the banks £200,000 (Rs. 1.8 crore) by June 5 this year, towards the costs of the legal case being pursued against him

The separate extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court is set to continue next Tuesday, amid delays and following last month’s surprising public intervention by Mr. Mallya in which he slammed the “blatantly false” allegations against him, and highlighted his attempt via the Karnataka HC to sell Rs. 13,900 crore of assets to repay creditors.

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