Mallya loses plea against freezing of assets


The Hindu

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Mallya loses plea against freezing of assets

The London court ruling is seen as a legal victory for a consortium of Indian banks seeking to recover £1.145 billion worth of assets.

Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya’s efforts to challenge the registration of a ruling by India’s debt recovery tribunal in the UK, and the freezing of international assets, failed on Tuesday. A court in London ruled against Mr. Mallya in what will be seen as a legal victory for a consortium of Indian banks seeking to recover £1.145 billion worth of assets.

The applications — in the Commercial Court Queens Bench division in London — had been running separately from the Indian government’s efforts to extradite Mr. Mallya to face allegations of fraud and money laundering.

Mr. Mallya had sought to challenge the registration of the debt recovery tribunal’s judgement from January 2017, and a worldwide freezing order that prevented him from removing — or diminishing – his assets in England and Wales.

“In dismissing Dr Mallya’s application, the High Court has demonstrated its willingness to recognise judgments granted by courts in other jurisdictions, giving parties opportunities to enforce their judgments against any assets held here,” said Paul Gair, partner at TLT, a UK-based law firm that represented the 13 Indian banks, including in securing the registration and freezing order on November 23 last year.

“This case also sets a strong precedent for parties to secure a worldwide freezing order when enforcing judgments against wilful defaulters…. Today’s judgment is a very important decision not just for our clients, who want to proceed in this jurisdiction with enforcing the judgment they secured against Dr. Mallya in India, but also for Indian and international banks more generally,” he said.

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