Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, in a statement on his India assets, has disclosed to the Supreme Court that he had Rs. 16,440 as cash in hand as of March 31, 2016. His bank deposits in India totalled Rs. 12.6 crore, which was under attachment by the Income Tax Department, it noted.
Mr Mallya also stated he had “investments and cash equivalents” of $5.2 million in overseas assets while he made no reference regarding any bank account or cash in hand.
The Supreme Court was on Tuesday hearing a contempt petition against Mr Mallya for violating a court order by not disclosing his assets in India and abroad.
The Supreme Court asked Mr Mallya to explain what happened to the $40 million he received as part of a settlement with Diageo.
As part of $75 million settlement agreed with Diageo, under which the liquor baron stepped down as chairman of Diageo-controlled United Spirits, Mr Mallya got $40 million and the rest was supposed to be paid over five years. A debt tribunal however has halted the remainder of the payment to Mr Mallya.
A consortium of banks told the Supreme Court that Mr Mallya received $40 million on February 25, 2016, but he didn’t inform the court about the payment.
Mr Mallya’s lawyer replied he was supposed to declare assets as of March 31, 2016.
“But this $40 million must find a place in your accounts. $40 million gone in 40 days,” the court observed. “Prima facie we feel you haven’t disclosed assets and bank accounts as per court order.”
The passport of Mr Mallya, who flew to Britain in March, has been revoked, with a judge in Mumbai issuing a non-bailable warrant for his arrest.
Mr Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines, which ceased operations in October 2012, owed the banks – mostly state-run – over Rs. 9,000 crore including interest and fees.