UK Court Declares Mallya Bankrupt

A British court on Monday granted a bankruptcy order against Vijay Mallya, paving the way for a consortium of Indian banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) to pursue a worldwide freezing order to seek repayment of debt owed by the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

“As at 15.42 [UK time], I adjudicate Dr. Mallya bankrupt,” Chief Insolvencies and Companies Court Judge Michael Briggs said in his ruling during a virtual hearing of the Chancery Division of the High Court hare.

The Indian Banks, represented by the law firm TLT LLP and barrister Marica Shekerdemian, an, had argued for the bankruptcy order to be granted in favor of the Indian Banks.

The 65-year-old businessman, meanwhile, remains on bail in the UK while a “confidential” legal matter, believed to be related to an asylum application, is resolved in connection with the unrelated extradition proceedings.

His barrister, Philip Marshall, sought a stay as well as an adjournment of the order while legal challenges remain ongoing in the Indian Courts. However, the requests were turned down by the judge who concluded that there was “insufficient evidence” that the debt will be paid back to the debt will be paid back to the petitioners in full within a reasonable period of tie. He also put forward an application seeking permission to appeal against the bankruptcy order, which Judge Briggs refused as there was no “real prospect of success” of an appeal.

The petitioners were made up of SBI-led consortium of 13 India banks, including Bank of Baroda, Corporation bank, Federal Bank, IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of Mysore, UCO Bank, United Bank of India and JM Financial Asset Reconstruction as well as an additional creditor, had been pursuing a bankruptcy order in the UK in relation to a judgment debt of over GBP 1 billion.

Mallya legal team contended that the debt remains disputed and ongoing proceedings in India inhibited a bankruptcy order made in the UK. S-ET

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