Two superyachts, a game reserve, numerous undeclared high-value and vintage cars, valuable paintings and a piano previously owned by Elton John are among the assets in contention as part of a latest legal claim by Indian banks against embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya in the UK High Court .
According to a report by PTI, Justice Robin Knowles, presiding over the hearing in the Commercial Court division of the High Court, ruled that he was satisfied that a consortium of Indian banks led by SBI have a right to the documents they are seeking to establish the true ownership of the assets they believe are linked with the Mallya.
“I consider the test to be satisfied and I don’t take that view lightly. I do take the view that without this disclosure the consequences are highly unsatisfactory for a judgment creditor [Indian banks] and from the vantage point of progressing towards a fair conclusion of the matter and a conclusion that is cost effective,” said Judge Knowles in his ruling.
“Frankly, the answer needs to be known as to which assets are that of Dr Mallya, both for the purpose of the worldwide freezing order and enforcement of the judgment,” he noted.
The consortium of PSU banks led by State Bank of India (SBI) have been pursuing the 63-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss in their attempt to recover some of the funds owed to them under a 1.145 billion pounds worldwide freezing order.
During Monday’s hearing, they sought the disclosure of crucial documentation that would establish the true ownership structure of the VMDS Trust, named after Mallya’s father Vittal Mallya (VM), in which Vijay Mallya claims he has no “beneficial interest”.