The UK High Court has ordered liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya to pay a minimum of 200,000 pounds towards costs borne by 13 India banks in their legal battle to recover alleged dues. Earlier, Mallay’s plea to overturn a worldwide order freezing Mallya’s assets was rejected and Judge Andrew Henshaw had upheld an Indian court’s ruling that a consortium of 13 Indian banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) were entitled to recover funds amounting to nearly 1.145 billion pounds.
As per the judgment, the court has ordered 62-year-old Mallya to pay costs towards registration of the worldwide freezing order and of debt recovery tribunal of Karnataka’s judgement in Britain.
“The court ordered that Mallya pay the banks’ costs. The standard order is that the court will assess those costs unless the parties can otherwise agree a figure for what should be paid,” a legal expert familiar with the case was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying.
The assessment of costs is a separate process, which is pending before a specialist costs judge in the UK. But, till then, the liquor tycoon will have to 200,000 pounds towards this legal costs liability.
On May 8, UK HC Judge Henshaw had refused to overturn a worldwide order freezing Mallya’s assets and ordered that the the consortium of 13 Indian banks, State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Corporation bank, Federal Bank Ltd, IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of Mysore, UCO Bank, United Bank of India and JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Co. Pvt Ltd, were entitled to recover funds amounting to nearly 1.145 billion pounds.
Mallya, who is along with this case also, fighting extradition to India on fraud and money laundering charges worth around Rs 9,000 crore, has since filed an appeal notice at the court of appeal, which includes an application for permission to appeal.
If the court considers that the appeal would have a real prospect of success or there is some other compelling reason for the appeal to be heard.
Meanwhile, the final hearings in his extradition case is due back at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London next month.