The Supreme Court today sentenced liquor baron Vijay Mallya to 4 months of jail for a case of contempt in 2017. He has also been asked to pay the fine of Rs2000. The fine is to be deposited within four weeks to the court’s legal services authority, failing which a further sentence of two months will be added.
Mallya was convicted of contempt of court in 2017 when he went against the apex court’s orders and transferred US $40 million to his children’s accounts. Today, the bench of Justices U U Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat, and PS Narasimha also said that the said transaction was ‘void and inoperable’. It also ordered the money to be returned in its entirety with 8% interest. The bench said, “If this is not deposited, the recovery officer can take appropriate actions for recovery of the said amount and the government of India and all agencies should assist in that process.”
Vijay Mallya has been accused of a bank loan default case worth Rs9000 crores, which involves the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines. Considering the case, Mallya fled India and has been in the UK since 2016. The supreme court has been delaying today’s sentencing several times because Mallya refused to appear before the judge. However, today the court decided to proceed with the sentencing even without Mallaya’s presence. Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta was appointed as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the case to assist the court in the ‘in absentia’ hearing.