Supreme Court: Finding Vijay Mallya guilty of contempt of court, the Bench of A.K. Goel and U.U. Lalit, JJ directed him to appear before the Court on 10.07.2017 in order to give him an opportunity to be heard before deciding the quantum of punishment. The Court said that Vijay Mallya is guilty of disobeying the Orders passed by this Court in not disclosing full particulars of the assets.

A consortium of banks sought relief from the Court after Vijay Mallya, who owes more than Rs. 9000 crores to the banks, instead of repaying his debts, transferred a huge sum of $40 million to his children. It was alleged by the banks that said transfer was not only in contempt of the Orders passed by the Karnataka High Court but was also an attempt to subvert the Course of Justice by diverting the funds to shield them from ongoing recovery proceedings.

The High Court of Karnataka had passed an interim order restraining the respondent from transferring, alienating, disposing or creating third party rights in respect of movable as well as immovable properties belonging to them until further. Hence, in the light of the transfer of a huge sum to the children of Vijay Mallya, the Court also held him guilty of violating the express Orders of Restraint passed by the High Court of Karnataka.

The Court said that though Vijay Mallya has not filed any reply to the Contempt Petition nor had he appeared in person but it necessary to give him one more opportunity and also hear him on the proposed punishment and hence, he should personally appear before the Court on 10.07.2017. [State Bank of India v. Kingfisher Airlines, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 554, order dated 09.05.2017]

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