Source: News Bharati English09 Mar 2016 15:46:34

New Delhi, March 9: In response to the pleas filed by thirteen banks for consortium of banks seeking disclosure of Vijay Mallya assets and seizure of his passport, the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice for response from the business tycoon within two weeks.

Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi cited the CBI inputs and informed the apex court that Vijay Mallya has left the country.“I spoke to the CBI little while ago and it told me that on March 2 he (Mallya) left the country,” Attorney General(AG) Mukul Rohatgi told the bench comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman.

The court allowed notice to be served to Mallya through his official Rajya Sabha email ID via Indian High Commission at London and his counsel. Consortium of banks sought directions for appearance of Mallya in person before apex court and for freezing his passport.

Pulling up the banks, SC also questioned why loans were given to Mallya when he was a defaulter and was facing proceedings in court of law. However, AG told SC that Mallya’s assets abroad are far in excess to loans taken by him.

Prior to moving the High Court, the banks had filed four pleas in the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) at Bengaluru seeking reliefs like freezing of Mallya’s passport, and for his arrest. They had also sought a direction to Mallya that he should to disclose his assets on oath.

The DRT, on March 2, heard arguments only on one plea and did not consider other three pleas which were related to freezing of the passport and restraining Mallya from leaving country, the banks said in their appeal to the apex court. The banks had moved the DRT in the backdrop of Mallya’s recent resignation from the chairmanship of United Spirits. The Tribunal also restrained Diageo from disbursing Rs 515 crores as settlement money to Vijay Mallya.

The banks which have moved the SC are: State Bank of India, Axis Bank Limited, Bank of Baroda, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank Limited, IDBI Bank Limited, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank Limited, Punjab and Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of Mysore, UCO Bank and United Bank of India.

The plea said the banks ‘individually’ had advanced loans to Kingfisher Airlines Limited and by way of a Master Debts Recast Agreement (MDRA), executed on December 21, 2010, and related documents “Financing Documents”, the existing loans were restructured and was treated as a single facility.