Soli Sorabjee asks Mallya to appear before SC

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], May 9 (ANI): Urging liquor baron Vijay Mallya to end his game of 'ducks and drakes' with the Supreme Court, former attorney general Soli Sorabjee on Tuesday said non-compliance with the court's orders could prima facie be declared as contempt of court. "Instead of giving a statement from London, Mallya must present himself before the SC and clarify the matter. Failing to do so would give a very wrong message to the authorities in London," Sorabjee told ANI. Furthermore, he said, compliance with the norms of the apex court would give him a fair trial. "The SC is not a kangaroo court. Mallya will be given a chance to justify his acts. In fact, I would say, in this regard, the SC is being very fair in its judgement," said Sorabjee while defending the apex court. Earlier in the day, the SC found the liquor baron guilty of contempt of court and summoned him to personally appear on July 10, 2017. The apex court was hearing a plea by a consortium of banks, which moved the former after Mallya received USD 40 million from a British firm, Diageo Plc, in February 2016 and allegedly transferred the money to his children, instead of repaying loans that he owes to the banks. Mallya, whose now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines allegedly owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to various banks, had fled India on March 2, 2016, and has been living in Britain since then. The absconding businessman was arrested by Scotland Yard last month on fraud allegations, which triggered his extradition process in the British courts. However, Mallya was released on bail as he assured the court to abide by all conditions associated with extradition proceedings, including surrendering his passport. Last February, India gave a formal extradition request for Mallya through a note verbale. Meanwhile, a joint team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) reached London on Tuesday. Last month, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed that Mallya's extradition has been stratified by the Secretary of State of the U.K. Government and added that a warrant would soon be released against him. The UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will argue the case on behalf of the Indian authorities. (ANI)