Mallya has left the country, SC told

New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya on a plea by a consortium of 17 banks led by the SBI seeking his personal appearance before it alongwith his passport as it was told that Mallya has already left the country.

The apex court bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman issued notice as Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the court that Mallya left the country soon after they moved applications on March 2 before Bengaluru-based Debt Recovery Tribunal to restrain Diageo from paying him $75 million.

The consortium of 17 banks led by the State Bank of India had sought order restraining Mallya from leaving the country, his arrest and impounding of his passport. Banks have challenged March 4 order of the Karnataka High Court not accepting their plea.

The notice will be issued to him personally, through his company, through his lawyers who appeared for him in the Karnataka High Court and in DRT and through the Indian High Commission in London.

The notice will also be served on him on his official Rajya Sabha email ID.

Addressing the court, Rohatgi said that the secured assets which Mallya has pledged are not even 1/15th of more than Rs.9,000 crore which he had taken for his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

As the court asked, how the banks could advance such a huge loan without matching securities, Rohatgi told the court that they were given against the brand and logo of Kingfisher Airlines which at that point of time was huge but now has collapsed.

Issuing notice, the court gave Mallya two weeks to respond as it directed the next hearing of the matter on March 30.

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