Tribunal ruling on interim pleas in Mallya case

Tribunal ruling on interim pleas in Mallya case on June 7

Bengaluru, June 3 (IANS) The Debt Recovery Tribunal will pronounce on June 7 its orders on 26 interlocutory applications (IAs) filed by the SBI and other defendants in the Rs 9,091 crore debt recovery case against tycoon Vijaya Mallya, his UB group firms and the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

“I will give my ruling on June 7 on the IAs filed by main petitioner SBI (State Bank of India) and other defendants for relief in the debt recovery case against Mallya and his group firms,” tribunal’s presiding officer Justice C.R. Benakanahalli said here on Friday after counsel from both sides resumed arguments.

The judge directed the counsels to mutually decide and inform him whose IAs should be heard first before taking up the original application the SBI filed in June 2013 as a lead bank of a consortium of 17 state-run and private banks to recover the outstanding loans with compound interest.

During the hearing, the SBI counsel objected to United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd. plea for more time to submit fresh evidence, as the deadline for it ended on Thursday as decided by the presiding officer.

The counsel for leading British liquor major Diageo Holdings Netherlands sought discharge from the proceedings as it was not a party to the original application, moved by the SBI before the tribunal.

“As I have to conclude arguments and dispose of the case before July 9 as per the Supreme Court directive, I will set a timeline for hearing and disposing of the IAs on priority basis,” Benkanahalli told the counsels.

The SBI on March 2 filed four IAs in the tribunal, seeking freezing of Mallya’s assets, his arrest, impounding of his passport and attachment of his properties across the country and overseas.

Incidentally, 60-year-old Mallya left the country the same day (March 2) from Delhi and is said to be staying in a London suburb since then.

As part of the $75-million (Rs.516 crore) exit deal Diageo and Mallya signed in London on February 25, the former transferred $40 million to the latter’s bank account, with a rider to pay the balance amount ($35 million) over the next five years on fulfilling some terms and conditions.

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