Embattled businessman Vijay Mallya, who is based in Britain for over five years, is pursuing appeals in the U.K. courts in an attempt to overturn a bankruptcy order imposed on him by the High Court in London in July last year.
At a case management hearing at the Chancery Division of the High Court in London on Monday, Justice Tom Leech concluded that a set of interlinked hearings in the matter would be heard together.
The case, which involves a consortium of Indian banks led by the State Bank of India seeking the repayment of an estimated judgment debt of around GBP 1.05 billion owed by the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, is now likely to come up in the courts next year.
The 66-year-old businessman, separately wanted in India on fraud and money laundering charges, remains on bail in the U.K. while a “confidential” legal matter believed to be related to an asylum application is resolved in connection with the unrelated extradition proceedings.
Meanwhile, his lawyers have argued that the Indian banks have been pursuing the same debt against him both in India and the U.K.
This week, the court was told the bankruptcy proceedings had damaged Mallya’s reputation and failed to take into account the assets already seized in India. Besides Mallya’s “Bankruptcy Order Appeal” and “Petition Amendment Appeal”, the banks in turn have appealed against parts of a May 2020 order over the security held over some of the businessman’s assets.
The Indian banks, represented by the law firm TLT LLP and barrister Marcia Shekerdemian, include State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank Ltd., IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of Mysore, UCO Bank, United Bank of India and JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Co.
The hearings in the case date back to May 2018, when the banks were granted a worldwide freezing order based on a judgment of the Bangalore Debt Recovery Tribunal. Since then, there have been a series of hearings in this case which led to a bankruptcy order against Mallya on July 26 last year.
Appeals against that order and related matters remain ongoing and are now expected to come up for hearing in the coming months.