Pinnacle court finally says Cannot wait for Vijay Mallya forever and kept January 18 as deadline in contempt case

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The top court clearly stated that it has waited "sufficiently long enough" and the contempt case against controversial businessman Vijay Mallya, accused in bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines has to end at some point. The Indian government has been trying to extradite the businessman from the United Kingdom.

Vijay Mallya was held guilty of contempt of court in 2017 for failing to disclose transfer of 40 million USD to his children's accounts and for ignoring summons to appear in court. The Supreme Court had in August last year dismissed his review petition in the case.

The Court also appointed Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta as an amicus curiae to assist it in the matter. On an earlier occasion, the Court had rejected the request made by Advocate EC Agarwala seeking his discharge as Mallya's counsel in the case.

A bench headed by Justice U U Lalit and comprising Justices S R Bhat and Bela M Trivedi, said Mallya is at liberty to advance submissions, as are deemed appropriate, and if for any reason, he is not present before the court, lawyer on his behalf can advance submissions. Bench clearly mentioned that “We can’t be waiting any longer now”.

All these years, the court has been waiting for his personal appearance to hear and decide his punishment.

The Ministry of External Affairs, in a note shared with the court by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Tuesday, informed that Mr. Mallya’s extradition has “attained finality”. He has exhausted all his appeals.

The bench strongly said “What we wish to do is, we will list this matter for disposal in the second week of January because we have waited sufficiently long enough, we can’t be waiting any longer now. It has to see the light of the day at some stage or the other and the process must also get over”.

The 2017 order followed a plea by a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI), which had said that Vijay Mallya had allegedly transferred the amount to his children in “flagrant violation” of various judicial orders.

The Court had directed the Government of India to secure and ensure presence before the court.