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Mumbai Court allows banks to dispose off Vijay Mallya’s assets

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Mumbai, Jan 1, 2020-

Exactly a year after he was declared India’s first fugitive economic offender, a Special Court here has given the green signal to banks to dispose off the economic assets of absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya to recover their dues, official sources said here on Wednesday.

The directions to the consortium of 15 banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) to dispose off Mallya’s economic assets like financial securities and shares in his companies, which have been under attachment since 2016, came on Tuesday .

The lenders’ consortium has to recover over Rs 6,000 crore plus interest from Mallya, currently in the United Kingdom, after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed the Special Court last year that it had no objections to the same.

The Special Court has, however, stayed its order till January 18 to enable all the parties concerned to file their appeals before the Bombay High Court, the sources said.

Among the assets are Mallya’s shares in the United Breweries Holdings Ltd, the value of which is not clear, but which were attached after he was declared a proclaimed offender.

Later in Januaty 2019, Mallya earned the dubious distinction of being declared the country’s first “fugitive economic offender” under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.

The 15-bank consortium had earlier filed an application in the Special Court seeking release of his assets which could be disposed off to recover a part of the loans extended to him.

Mallya, 65, a former one-term Rajya Sabha Member, who had launched the high-profile Kingfisher Airlines, slipped out of the country in March 2016.

He is facing cases of money-laundering filed by the ED, which has already attached his movable and fixed assets worth around Rs 10,000 crore so far. While some of his fixed assets have been sold, others are pending disposal.

The UK police have once arrested Mallya in April 2017, and in December 2018, a UK court ordered his extradition to India which he has contested. The matter is pending.

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