SC gives 4 months jail to Mallya

New Delhi, July 11 (Bureau) The Supreme Court on Monday sentenced fugitive businessman liquor baron Vijay Mallya to four months of imprisonment and fined him Rs 2,000 for contempt of court. The court asked Mallya to deposit back $40 million with rate of interest within four weeks and warned that failure to do so would lead to attachment of properties. “We sentence the contemnor to four months of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2,000,” a Bench headed by Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said.The court pronounced its order on the quantum of sentence against the Mallya in a contempt case over non-disclosure of assets in a plea filed by a SBI-led consortium of banks for recovery of over Rs 9,000 crore.

The three-judge Bench also comprising Justices S Ravindra Bhat and P S Narasimha had on March 10 wrapped up the hearing in the matter and reserved its order. The court had given a chance to Mallya’s lawyer to file written submissions even as he said he had nothing to say on merit.Senior advocate Jaideep Gupta, acting as Amicus Curiae (Friend of the Court), had submitted that the court has given several chances for Mallya to appear and so now the court must pronounce a verdict. The Home Ministry informed the court that the United Kingdom Home Office has intimated there was a further legal issue that needed to be resolved before Mallya’s extradition takes place.

The court also noted that Mallya was not in anyone’s custody and was a free citizen in the UK. “The only reason perhaps is that there’s a proceeding which is pending, which will decide if a person is to be extradited,” the court said.It was alleged that Mallya owed the banks money to the tune of approximately Rs 9,000 crores which he had not paid and he had transferred an amount of $40 million to his children. Mallya was held guilty of disobeying the orders passed by this court and not disclosing his assets and not replying to the contempt petition as well as not appearing before the court.