The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya to respond to the allegation by a consortium of banks led by the SBI that he had transferred $40 million to his children in violation of the orders by the Debt Recovery Tribunal and the Karnataka High Court.
The bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice A.M.Khanwilkar sought response from Mallya after senior counsel Shyam Divan told the court of the development.
Divan told the court that Mallya has to pay Rs 9,000 crore to the consortium of 13 banks, led by the State Bank of India, that were loaned to his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and instead of repaying the money, Mallya transferred it to his children.
Mallya had received $40 million as part of a $75 million settlement with Diageo to step down as Chairman of the Diageo-controlled United Spirits.
Divan argued that $40 million should have come to banks.
Asking Mallya to file a response, the court fixed the next hearing on February 2.
In the course of the last hearings of the matter on October 25, the top court had lashed out on Mallya for failing to make full disclosure of his assets including the details of the $40 million he got in February 2016 from British liquor major Diageo.
Observing that "We are not happy the way disclosure was made," the court had said it was "prima facie of the view that Vijay Mallya has not made proper disclosure in terms of the order of April 7, 2016".
Besides SBI, other banks on the consortium are the State Bank of Baroda, State Bank of Mysore, Axis Bank, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, IDBI Bank, Punjab National Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, UCO Bank and United Bank of India.