Vijay Mallya on Wednesday lost an appeal to gain further access to court-held funds to cover his costs for legal proceedings in India, as a High Court judge in London concluded that the 65-year-old businessman had failed to provide sufficient evidence in support of the over 750,000 pounds being sought.
During a remote hearing of the Chancery Division, Justice Robert Miles handed down his judgment in favour of a consortium of Indian banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI).
He also directed Mr Mallya to cover 95 per cent of the costs of the appeal as the banks had been “very substantially successful” and the “overall winners” in fighting the case to prevent further sanctions from the court-held funds.
“The amount being sought was substantial, being over 550,000 pounds in respect of incurred costs and well over 200,000 pounds in respect of the future,” said Justice Miles.
“There was no breakdown of the incurred costs between the various sets of proceedings, there was no attempt to justify the incurred costs by reference to steps already taken; no invoices, bills of costs, descriptive schedules or other evidence was provided in support of the amount of costs being sought,” he said, adding that the proceedings in India appear to be “stagnant”.
The latest appeal follows Deputy Insolvency and Companies Court Judge Nigel Barnett’s February order that gave Mr Mallya permission to use around 1.1 million pounds from the Court Funds Office (CFO) towards his living expenses and to meet legal expenses only related to the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings in the UK – the next hearing for which is scheduled for July 26.
The expenditure incurred from the CFO could face further scrutiny at a later date on the conclusion of that petition, lodged by the banks in pursuit of a judgment debt which stands at over 1 billion pounds.
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