New Delhi/London: Vijay Mallya, the business tycoon wanted in India on loan default and money-laundering charges, has lost a major lawsuit filed by Indian banks in the UK High Court seeking to collect more than USD 1.55 billion (1.04 lakh crore rupees) from him.
Judge Andrew Henshaw, on Tuesday, refused to overturn a worldwide order freezing Vijay Mallya's assets and upheld an Indian court's ruling that a consortium of 13 Indian banks were entitled to recover funds from him.
The banks can now enforce the Indian judgment and sell the businessman's assets in England and Wales to recover crores in dues.
The worldwide freezing order prevents Vijay Mallya from removing any assets from the UK up to that value or to dispose of, deal with or diminish the value of his assets.
The asset freeze order had forced the flamboyant businessman to live on 5,000 pounds a week, but his allowance was increased to roughly 20,000 pounds a week earlier this year, lawyers for the banks said after the hearing.
The 62-year-old businessman left India in 2016 when the banks were attempting to recover nearly Rs 9,000 crores in unpaid loans to Kingfisher Airlines, a premium airline he started in 2005 and shut down seven years later.
A court in London is hearing the case of Indian investigators for the liquor tycoon's extradition to face trial in India.
Vijay Mallya was arrested in London more than a year ago on a warrant issued by Indian authorities accusing him of conspiring to swindle the IDBI Bank through a Rs 91 billion-rupee loan to Kingfisher Airlines.