The High Court in London sustained an application by a consortium of Indian banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) to amend their bankruptcy petition to waive their security over the Vijay Mallya's assets in India as reported by PTI.
Chief Judge, Insolvencies and Companies Court (ICC), Michael Briggs, gave his judgment in favour of the banks to declare there is no public policy that prevents a waiver of security rights, as claimed by Mallya's lawyers.
"I order that permission be given to amend the petition to read as follows: 'The Petitioners (banks) having the right to enforce any security held are willing, in the event of a bankruptcy order being made, to give up any such security for the benefit of all the bankrupt's creditors'," the judgment reads.
26 July is fixed as the date for final arguments for and against awarding a bankruptcy order against Mallya at a virtual hearing.
The banks accused Mallya of delaying the matter so that it is forgotten and called on the "bankruptcy petition to be brought to its inevitable end".
Mallya's lawyer had referenced witness statements of retired Indian judges in previous hearings to repeat that there is "public interest under Indian law" by the banks being nationalised.
Justice Briggs, however, favoured the submissions made by retired Indian Supreme Court Judge Gopala Gowda at a hearing in December 2020 in this view.
"In my judgement the simple stance taken by Justice Gowda that Section 47 PIA 1920 is evidence of the ability of a secured creditor to relinquish the creditor's security is to be preferred," Briggs noted.
The Indian banks, represented by the law firm TLT LLP and lawyer Marcia Shekerdemian, were also awarded costs in entirety for the petition hearings as the "overall successful" party in the case.
"Mallya should have been extradited by now. He was refused permission to go to the Supreme Court in May last year," Shekerdemian said, about one of Mallya's defence argument that the cases against him are "politically motivated".
Mallya is currently out on bail in the United Kingdom.
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