The special court dealing with cases registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Wednesday allowed an intervention application(IA) moved by Diageo Holdings Netherlands BV, claiming its legal and substantial rights over pledged shares in a case pertaining to the sale of confiscated assets of fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya.
Special Judge M Salman Azmi said,
".......there are multiple litigations concerning the properties at different forums.......it would be proper to offer an opportunity to the intervenor applicant to present his case. It would not cause any prejudice to the right of the previous applicant (consortium of banks led by SBI)."
The British spirits maker which was earlier owned by Mallya has a majority stake in United Spirits. It claimed that the pledged shares were not a part of the security obtained by the consortium of banks during the process of granting a loan to Mallya or his companies.
It was added that the said shares likewise does not form part of the security as mentioned in the documents disposed of by the applicants (Banks) through corporate guarantee dated December 21, 2010.
Diageo Holdings Netherlands BV (DHN) also opposed an application moved by a consortium of state-run lenders headed by Security Exchange Board of India(SEBI) and sought dismissal of their prayer.
Pertinently, a consortium of state-run banks seeks liquidation of Mallya's assets confiscated by the Enforcement Directorate(ED) in pursuant to a probe in the Rs, 9000 crore loan default by now defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.
Besides Diageo's IA, the court also allowed an adjournment application moved by Vijay Mallya against the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) plea to confiscate his properties under the recently enacted Fugitive Economic Offenders (FEO) Act, 2018, which allows the sale of assets even before the commencing of the trial.
The matter now has been posted for hearing on April 8.