INDIA: On Monday, the Supreme Court sentenced fugitive business magnate and conman Vijay Mallya, who was found guilty of contempt of court in 2017, to fourth months’ prison time and fined him Rs 2,000. Justice U U Lalit presided over the bench and ruled that Mallya’s transfer of $40 million from British firm Diageo to his three children is “void and inoperative”. The court also stated that “he shall be bound to deposit the amount received by such beneficiaries along with interest at the rate of 8 per cent per annum with the concerned Recovery Officer within four weeks.”
If the required sum of money is not repaid on time, “the concerned Recovery Officer shall be entitled to take appropriate proceedings,” ordered the bench. In that case, “the contemnor will undergo a further sentence of two months.”
The court added, “Considering the facts and circumstances on record and the fact that the contemnor never showed any remorse nor tendered any apology for his conduct, we impose a sentence of four months and a fine in the sum of Rs 2,000.”
The apex court discovered that Mallya was guilty of contempt on May 9, 2017, for wilful disobedience of its order to reveal his assets. He had consciously chosen to evade any hints that he had transferred his earnings from British liquor major Diageo Plc to his three children- son Siddharth and daughters Leanna and Tanya.
The court directed the Union Home Ministry to secure Mallya’s presence so that the imprisonment sentence could be imposed upon him and, after that, file a compliance report in the court.
The former owner of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines has been living in the UK since March 16, after he was accused of scamming nearly Rs 9,000 crore in a bank loan default case concerning his airline company. Mallya is on bail on an extradition warrant given by Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017.