In light of a London court issuing an order to seize liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s assets in the United Kingdom (UK), Phillip D’Costa of the Penningtons Manches law firm gave insight on the execution of the order.
“Once court orders, the debtor has to be given a seven-day notice. The Court’s enforcement officers will then visit the property, seize goods, make an inventory and then the goods are auctioned, the proceeds of which go towards reducing the debt owed to the creditor,” D’Costa said.
“There are prescribed rules on the things that can or cannot be taken. For instance, property falls outside the definition of goods, so you need a separate order to take possession of the property. Other high-value items like cars, watches, artwork, paintings, etc. Household appliances cannot be seized,” he added.
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When asked if the seven-day notice was counter-productive as it would provide a window of opportunity to the debtor to move their assets elsewhere, D’Costa said that by law it was required to give the notice first, otherwise, the seizure of assets would be invalid.
He also mentioned that there were very limited grounds on which the order could be stayed.
“The order can be stayed if it is granted by the court, however, there are very limited grounds on which an order can be stayed, one of which being if the debtor is unable to pay the amounts due,” he said.
Mallya had earlier stated that he was not a fugitive and “always had honest intentions” to repay his loans.
He had earlier broken his silence over the controversy, saying in a series of tweets that he had been falsely made the “poster boy of Bank default and a lightning rod of public anger.”
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The 62-year-old is currently facing a trial in a UK court in connection with his extradition to India. He is facing charges for financial irregularities to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, as well as several money laundering cases.
On the other hand, Bangalore police through the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on July 5 submitted a report before Delhi’s Patiala House Court stating that they have identified 159 properties of liquor baron Vijay Mallya and United Breweries.
The Bangalore police had also sought more time to identify other additional properties.
Earlier on June 30, Mallya was summoned by a designated court under Fugitive Economic Offenders to appear before it on August 27. The notice was issued to Mallya and others in connection with ED’s June 22 application for declaring him as a fugitive economic offender and to confiscate his properties.