Judge Sebastian Prentis, who presided over a remote hearing at the Insolvency and Companies Court (ICC) of the High Court in London, concluded that Mallya had failed to provide the “basic information” required for such a validation order and agreed only to allow sufficient funds to cover an appeal hearing scheduled in the bankruptcy case for Wednesday.
“As to the urgency of this application, I remain puzzled,” remarked the Judge as he questioned about the updated evidence on full disclosure of assets at Mallya’s disposal, including jewellery and a ‘fine suite’ of high-value luxury cars that were listed as being owned by him.
The issue of the funds held by the court will now be fully dealt with at a hearing listed before the high /court on January 22, during which the court will decide whether to sanction sums towards living expenses and legal fees from the sale of a French luxury property Le Grand Jardin last year.
Vijay Mallya’s counsel, Philip Marshall argued in front of the court that his client needed urgent access to funds to avert a ‘high risk’ of him losing his legal representation. Barrister Tony Beswtherick, while arguing on behalf of the Indian Banks contested Mallya’s application on the grounds of the risk of dissipation of assets held towards the debt owed by him to the banks. He also pointed out one of the hearings regarding the matter which has already been scheduled for January’2021.
On Wednesday’s hearing, it is said that the counsel of Mallya is going to seek directions from the court in order to dismiss the bankruptcy petition order.
On Monday, the court heard that Mallya’s income from two consultancy agreements was no longer coming in and therefore he had to resort to the money derived from the sale of the French property, which was deposited with the court while the bankruptcy proceedings remain ongoing.
The proceedings against Mallya had been initiated by the SBI-led consortium of 14 other Indian Banks, which include Bank of Baroda, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank Ltd, IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of Mysore, UCO Bank, United Bank of India and JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Co. Pvt Ltd, in the month of December in the year 2018.
The proceedings were initiated by the banks in order to recoup some 1.145 billion pounds as unpaid loans which were taken by Mallya.
Vijay Mallya, meanwhile, remains on bail as the UK Home Office deals with a “confidential” legal issue before UK Home Secretary Priti Patel can sign off on his extradition sought by the Indian government, on charges of fraud and money laundering related to loans acquired by his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
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