New Delhi– The Supreme Court on Friday deferred hearing on the quantum of punishment to be awarded to liquor baron Vijay Mallya till the government produces him before it.
Mallya has been held guilty of contempt of the top court for not appearing before it and not making full disclosure of assets held by him and his family as ordered earlier.
Noting the steps being taken by the central government for Mallya’s extradition, a bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said: “The matter may be put up (before the court) on his (Mallya) production before the court.”
Following a brief hearing, the bench in its order said: “The contemnor (Mallya) failed to appear despite he being represented by counsel.
“The government of India has taken steps to secure his presence but Mallya is yet to be produced. Extradition proceedings are on and all steps are being taken by the government to produce him before the court.”
At the outset of the hearing, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told the court about the steps taken by the government for the extradition of Mallya, now in Britain.
The court was informed that the final hearing in the British court for the extradition of Mallya would start from December 4 and conclude by the month-end.
As Venugopal was giving the details of the steps taken by the government to bring Mallya to India to face law, Justice Goel said they would hear the matter when he was produced before the court.
The top court had on May 9 held Mallya guilty of contempt for not appearing before it, as directed in the first hearing, and not making full disclosure of his assets and that of his family in a case wherein a consortium of 13 banks, led by the State Bank of India, is seeking recovery of over Rs 9,000 crore given to his now grounded Kingfisher Airlines.
It had sought his response on the quantum of punishment.
The top court had on July 25, 2016, issued notice to Mallya on a contempt plea by the consortium of banks led by the SBI for not making full disclosure of assets held by him his wife and children, both in India and abroad.
This has followed its April 7, 2016 order asking Mallya to disclose all assets — movable and immovable and tangible and intangible — and other shareholdings and beneficial interests in India and abroad held by him, his wife and children.
By this order, the court had also asked Mallya to indicate the date when he could appear before it in person.
Mallya, in a hearing on April 26, 2016, had through his counsel said: “If I come, I will be taken to Tihar Jail. When my liberty is at stake, how can you expect me to come back?”