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10 May 2018, 11:12 | Brenda Erickson
India businessman Vijay Mallya arrives for a hearing for his extradition case at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on April 27
"Today's judgment is a very important decision not just for our clients, who want to proceed in this jurisdiction with enforcing the judgment they secured against Dr Mallya in India, but also for Indian and worldwide banks more generally", Paul Gair from United Kingdom law firm TLT which represented the Indian banks in the London court said after court's decision.
Judge Andrew Henshaw, who upheld a worldwide freeze order and ruled in favour of 13 Indian state-owned banks to recover funds amounting to almost 1.145 billion pounds in a judgment Tuesday, took note of the fact that the 62-year-old businessman is contesting his extradition to India relating to "alleged financial misconduct".
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The banks can now enforce the Indian judgment and sell the businessman's assets in England and Wales to recover the crores in dues. The worldwide freezing order prevents him from removing any assets from England and Wales to outside.
"There is a risk of the value of Dr Mallya's assets deteriorating, and, or, being subject to claims by other creditors, and a risk of Dr Mallya being declared bankrupt", Henshaw wrote. Mallya was arrested in London previous year and is fighting another lawsuit to prevent extradition in a different court across town. He must not have had a good night's sleep since the consortium of banks that had lent him money for his venture Kingfisher Airlines started chasing him for Rs 9,000-crore default. He has been accepted as a wilful defaulter.
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Mallya's purchase of a Ferrari 246 GTS with an estimated value of 480,000 pounds was also questioned by the Indian banks.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), representing the Indian government, has claimed it has successfully established a prima facie case of fraud against the businessman. Mallya›s defence that he had no "fraudulent" intentions fell apart. Now, he has little choice but to directly petition the UK's Court of Appeal, which is second only to the country's Supreme Court. The case is scheduled for a final hearing at the Westminster Magistrates Court on July 11. It has very clearly established that the British courts are willing to give weight and importance to and respect for judgments delivered in courts of India.
Mallya's lawyers argued that he has been a non-resident Indian since 1988 and has lived in England since 1992. Attorneys at law firm TLT said the ruling will allow them to enforce the underlying judgment by the Indian debt recovery tribunal immediately.
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