Karnataka

Counsel’s apology earns Mallya reprieve from HC appearance

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Vijay Mallya

Bangalore, Sept 17, 2013: The High Court, on Tuesday, kept in abeyance its directions to United Breweries Chairman Vijay Mallya to appear before it, providing the much beleaguered high profile industrialist temporary relief.  The High Court, on Monday, had directed Mallya to present himself personally with his passport as the company had failed to adhere to its directions issued earlier.

The High Court took the conciliatory stance following United Breweries Holdings Limited senior counsel Uday Holla’s assurance that the company would submit the audited statement of accounts of the proceeds received by UBHL from its sale of United Spirits’shares. Holla, while seeking time to  comply with the court orders, also submitted that Vijay Mallya would appear before the court if required.

Instead of submitting audited statement of accounts of repayments, expenses and taxes, among others, vis-a-vis sale of shares of United Spirits Limited to global spirits major Diageo Ltd, as directed by the Court on May 24, UBHL had submitted a certificate of auditors, over which Justice Ram Mohan Reddy had expressed deep displeasure.

Hearing a batch of winding up petitions, Justice Ram Mohan Reddy directed United Breweries Holdings Limited (UBHL) to file its audited statement of accounts within a week along with objections to company petition, observing that Mallya’s appearance will be kept in abeyance for now after Mallya’s counsel apologised to the court, saying they were guided by the auditors, and pleaded that the statement of accounts as directed by it would be submitted in a week.

“There was a confusion regrading the nature of audited filing to be filed before the court. Partly I am also responsible for the mess,” Holla submitted.

Meanwhile, the High Court also granted four weeks to Kingfisher Airlines to submit a plan to revive its operations. Counsel for Kingfisher submitted that serious attempts are being made to revive it, after which the court directed it to give an update on the revival plan, granting it four weeks.

In connection with payment to workers of Kingfisher Airlines (KFA), the court accepted the submission by Holla who stated that an application has been filed along with Original Second Appeal (OSA) for making payment  to workers. “It is possible that the employees grievance will be addressed to some extent,” the court said.

Feresthe Sethna, counsel for BNP Paribas, one of the creditor who had lent money to KFA for which UBHL stands as guaranteers, who appeared for one of the petitioners, sought to implead Mallya in the OSA, for which Holla sought time to file his objections. The Court granted one week time to file objections.

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