UK court declares Vijay Mallya bankrupt, allowing Indian Banks to pursue recovery

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Jul 27, 2021, 08:42 AM(IST)

File photo of Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The ruling will help the consortium of Indian banks led by the State Bank of India to recover debt from loans given to Vijay Mallya’s now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines by seizing his India assets.
 

The London High Court declared fugitive Indian businessman Vijay Mallya bankrupt on July 26 in a major victory for Indian banks.

This will clear the way for a group of Indian banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) to seek a worldwide freezing order to seize Vijay Mallya's Indian assets in order to recover debt owed by his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

"As at 15:42 (UK time), I adjudicate Dr Mallya bankrupt," Chief Insolvencies and Companies Court (ICC) Judge Michael Briggs said in his ruling during a virtual hearing of the Chancery Division of the High Court in London.

The Indian banks, represented by the law firm TLT LLP and barrister Marcia Shekerdemian, had argued for the bankruptcy order to be granted in favour of the Indian banks.

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Mallya reportedly attempted to appeal the High Court decision but was denied permission to do so.

An application by a lender consortium led by the SBI to alter their bankruptcy case in favour of surrendering their security over Mallya's assets in India was upheld by a UK court earlier this year in May.

Meanwhile, the 65-year-old businessman remains in the UK on bail pending the resolution of a "secret" court matter, believed to be related to an asylum application, in connection with unrelated extradition proceedings.

His lawyer, Philip Marshall, asked for a stay and a postponement of the ruling while legal challenges in India are still pending.

The judge, however, denied the requests, concluding that there was "insufficient proof" that the debt would be paid in full to the petitioners within a reasonable time.

(With inputs from agencies)

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