A lawyer representing Vijay Mallya requested the Supreme Court to be relieved from the case concerning the fugitive businessman on Thursday. He stated that Mallya was untraceable and not responding to any communication.
The apex court was hearing Mallya’s plea against Karnataka High Court’s order, wherein his plea, to restore his appeal filed before the Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT), was dismissed. DRAT had asked Mallya to deposit a sum of Rs 3,101 crore within the prescribed time. His appeal was dismissed in this regard.
The SC gave a four-month sentence in July to Mallya, accused in a bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines contempt case. It also stated that Mallya should re-deposit $40 million with interest within four weeks, and his failure to comply would lead to the attachment of properties.
On November 3, the SC advocate-on-record for Mallya, EC Agarwala, told the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli that, "As per my information, Mallya resides in the United Kingdom but he is not communicating with me now and all I have is his email address. Since he is not traceable and not appearing anywhere in India, I should be relieved from representing him."
The bench allowed the lawyer to follow the process for discharge from the case and asked him to inform the court registry about his e-mail ID and current residential address of Mallya. The matter is slated for hearing in January 2023.
Earlier this year, the apex court had sentenced Mallya to four months in prison for contempt of court for violating its orders. The court also directed the government authorities to take steps to secure the presence of Mallya in India.
But the beleaguered businessman is yet to appear in India to serve the sentence and is facing extradition proceedings in the UK initiated by the Indian government.
The UK high court cleared Mallya's extradition in April 2020, but the matter has been on hold for two-and-half years now