BENGALURU: The High Court on Saturday directed the Official Liquidator (OL) to appear on Tuesday before the Appellate Authority, which is hearing appeals related to attachment of assets of fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya and his companies, including the United Breweries Holdings Ltd (UBHL).
A division bench of Justice Raghvendra S Chauhan and Justice H T Narendra Prasad issued this direction after hearing an appeal filed by the UBHL seeking permission for sale of assets to clear the debts of the consortium of banks and others and also the objections filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) for sale of the assets attached by it.
“Since OL is the custodian of the interest of secured and unsecured creditors and the OL has to function as an agent of this court, this court directs the OL to appear before the Appellate Authority on August 21, 2018”, the court said.
The OL was appointed to take over UBHL after a single judge bench of the Karnataka High Court passed the order to wind up UBHL on February 7, 2017, to recover the money owed to banks and others.
Meanwhile, Lakshmi Iyengar, counsel for the Official Liquidator, submitted that the OL is hesitant to appear before the Appellate Authority as the OL has not been made a party in the said appeal. She submitted that if this court were to direct the OL to appear before the Appellate Authority, the OL certainly will appear and defend its interest, she argued.
After this, the counsel for the Enforcement Directorate informed the court that the petition has to be argued on August 21, 2018, before the Appellate Authority constituted under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002. He also informed the court that despite the fact that the order dated February 7, 2017, has not been stayed in toto by this court, even then, the OL has not appeared before the Appellate Authority, he argued. After passing the direction, the court adjourned the hearing to August 22, 2018.