The Supreme Court announced that the punishment hearing in the contempt case against fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya will be held on January 18, 2022, expressing its strong resolve to proceed. Even if Mallya - who is currently in the United Kingdom, where the Indian government is attempting to extradite him - is not present before the Court on that day for any reason, the Court would hear the counsel on his behalf, according to the Court.
Mallya was arrested by the UK Metropolitan Police extradition section on behalf of Indian authorities on charges of fraud on April 18, 2017, and was freed on bail pending further investigation. The Supreme Court of India declared Mallya guilty of contempt of court on May 9, 2017, and summons him to appear on July 10. Mallya was detained and released on bail on 3 October 2017 in London as part of a money-laundering investigation. On charges of bank fraud of $90 billion, an extradition request was filed from the United Kingdom. Mallya has been out on bail since his arrest in April 2017 on an extradition warrant. Mallya is fighting extradition in the United Kingdom. A UK court ordered Vijay Mallya to pay $18.1 million to Indian banks and to pay money towards the registration of a worldwide freezing order and Karnataka's Debt Recovery Tribunal on June 16, 2018. The court concluded in December 2018 that he can be extradited to India to face fraud charges. Mallya was given permission to appeal against extradition to London's High Court in July 2019. Vijay Mallya's appeal against extradition to India was denied by the London High Court in April 2020. He had therefore lost his final appeal against extradition.
The Supreme Court has now stated that it has waited "sufficiently long enough" and that the contempt case against fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya must come to an end. The Indian government has been attempting to extradite the British businessman. Even if Mallya - who is currently in the United Kingdom, where the Indian government is attempting to extradite him - is not present before the Court on that day for any reason, the Court would hear the counsel on his behalf, according to the Court. The bench, which also included Justices S R Bhat and Bela M Trivedi, stated that Mallya is free to forward submissions as he sees fit, and that if he is unable to appear in court for whatever reason, his counsel can do so on his behalf. In a plea filed by the Consortium of Creditors (CoC) led by the State Bank of India, the Court also designated Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta as amicus curiae in the case against Mallya, in which he was found guilty of contempt of court for allegedly deliberately violating court orders (SBI). Mallya was accused of violating the Court's orders by transferring monies into the accounts of others, as well as making "vague and confusing" statements regarding his assets.
The court observed that it has waited long enough and that the present case dealing with Vijay Mallya has to see the light of the day at some point. It was therefore declared that the case would be listed in January 2022 and if Vijay Mallya wishes to at that point can take part through extradition proceedings.
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