BENGALURU: Liquor baron Vijya Mallya has filed an interlocutory application (IA) appealing to the Karnataka High Court to recall its October 20 order wherein he was asked to be present in person on November 24 for framing of charges under Contempt of Courts Act. The contempt charges were to be framed for violation of his oral undertaking given before the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT), Bengaluru bench.
In his application, Mallya contended that the High Court has no jurisdiction to exercise powers under Contempt of Courts Act as the DRT is not subordinate to the High Court. After hearing the plea, a division bench of Justices Jayant Patel and Arvind Kumar adjourned the hearing to December 2.
On October 20, the High Court ordered Vijay Mallya, who is residing in London, to be present in person before it on November 24, saying there was prima facie case to frame charges against Mallya for allegedly violating his oral undertaking given before the DRT, Benglauru Bench, in 2013. Mallya had, on July 26, 2013, orally undertaken before the DRT that he will not transfer, alienate or otherwise deal with his assets till the next date of hearing. He reiterated this before the DRT during four hearings in August 2013.
Taking note of it, the bench asked Mallya’s counsel to communicate its order to him, saying his presence is essential to frame charges against him. The order came in response to the contempt of court petition filed by a consortium of banks led by State Bank of India in 2014 in connection with the Kingfisher Airlines Ltd case.
According to the banks, when the matter is pending before DRT as well as the High Court, they came to know through newspaper reports that Mallya had pledged 1,04,86,666 shares of UB Ltd held by him and another 1,04,64,288 shares held by Mallya and his son Siddarth Mallya with Standard Chartered Bank.
Referring to this, the banks contended that the pledging of shares was confirmed by the stock exchange and it is willful disobedience of the undertaking given by him.