Controversial businessman Vijay Mallya’s legal trouble are continued as he is facing bankruptcy proceedings in a London court brought by the State Bank of India and 12 other lenders seeking to recover £1.145 billion extended as loans to Kingfisher Airlines that Mallya guaranteed.
TLT LLP, the UK-based law firm, which had won a landmark case for the 13 banks led by State Bank of India (SBI) earlier this year, confirmed on Monday that their bankruptcy petition against the 62-year-old businessman has been transferred to the insolvency list in London’s High Court of Justice for a hearing in the first half of 2019.
“We can confirm that we presented a bankruptcy petition against Dr Mallya on behalf of the banks on 11 September 2018,” said Paul Gair, partner at TLT. “This was issued in Dr Mallya’s local court, Northampton County Court, and has now been transferred to the insolvency list in the High Court of Justice in London for the hearing. The hearing is expected to take place in the Spring,” he said. In a ruling in May, a UK High Court judge had refused to overturn a worldwide order freezing Mallya’s assets and upheld an Indian court’s ruling that the consortium of 13 Indian banks were entitled to recover funds amounting to nearly 1.145 billion pounds.
It is also reported that, the Qatar National Bank (QNB) launched a legal claim against Mallya’s son, Siddartha Mallya, who owns Force India, a 165ft yacht pledged as security for a €27 million loan. Mallya reportedly took out the loan in 2008 to buy a lavish property on the island of Sainte Marguerite, near Cannes. According to QNB, Siddhartha Mallya’s company, Gizmo, has fallen behind with the payments since January. The bank claims it is owed more than €5 million and says it is seeking the sale of the yacht. In his defence, Siddartha Mallya said he had not received independent advice over the mortgage on the yacht, while Mallya told the paper that Gizmo’s lawyers were “dealing with proceedings in France”.
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