File photo of Vijay Mallyaat the day three of the 2010 World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Vijay Mallya Has Scant Regard For Indian Law, Says Delhi Court

Two non-bailable warrants were issued against founder-owner of the erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. Vijay Mallya on Friday in two different cases being heard by the Patiala House Court.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass issued non-bailable warrants against Mallya in a case related to violation of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA). Mallya had evaded repeated summonses by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in this regard.

It appears that Mallya is not willing to return to India and has no inclination whatsoever to comply with the court’s directions....Mallya’s affidavit (saying he wants to return to India, but cannot, as his passport has been revoked) was filed with malafide (intent), and was abuse of law. It seems Mallya has scant regard for the rule of law.
Sumit Dass, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate

The application filed by Mallya seeking exemption from personal appearance in court says he “was living in London at that time (when his passport was revoked in April 2016) and he has been a permanent resident of London for three decades. It is humbly submitted that ever since he has been staying in London, he is not in possession of requisite documents which could possibly enable him to come back to India."

The ED had issued summonses against Mallya under Section 40 of the FERA Act in relation to Formula 1 transactions with Flavia Briatore of Benetton Formula Ltd. in London. Mallya had signed a contract with Briatore in 1995 to promote the Kingfisher brand. The enforcement agency alleged that he paid $200,000 to the London-based company without prior approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which was a violation of FERA norms. The investigating agency filed a case against Mallya in 2000 in a lower court, after which charges were framed against him.

The lower court will now hear the FERA violations case on December 22 when Mallya has been asked to appear in court.

In another case, Metropolitan Magistrate Sumeet Anand issued a non-bailable warrant for the second time against Mallya in the cheque bounce cases filed by Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL).

The trial court had summoned Mallya as an accused after GMR-led DIAL, which operates the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, had moved the trial court after a Rs 1 crore cheque issued by Kingfisher Airlines on February 22, 2012 was returned to them a month later with the remark “insufficient funds”.

DIAL has so far filed four cases against Mallya for dishonor of cheques worth Rs 7.5 crore. The airline had issued these cheques to pay for services availed by them at the IGI Airport.

Mallya had challenged two summonses issued by the trial court in 2014 before the Delhi High Court, seeking quashing of these summonses as well as DIAL’s original complaint. The high court rejected Mallya's plea in July this year and directed him to appear before the lower court.