Hyderabad: Billionaire industrialist Vijay Mallya was convicted by a court in Hyderabad on Wednesday in a cheque-bouncing case filed against him by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd.
The court, however, did not pronounce the quantum of punishment as the Rajya Sabha lawmaker, who left the country last month, was not present in court, Mr Mallya’s lawyer H Sudhakar Rao said.
The quantum of punishment is expected to be pronounced on May 5 by the court, GMR lawyer Ashok Reddy said.
“Two cases pertaining to cheque-bouncing were going on against Kingfisher Airlines in the court and the matter was posted for arguments. After the arguments today, the court convicted Mallaya, Kingfisher and a senior official of the airline under section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act,” Mr Sudhakar Rao told Press Trust of India.
The court had earlier issued a non-bailable warrant against the Kingfisher Airlines, its chairman Vijay Mallya and another senior official of the company for allegedly dishonouring of a cheque of Rs. 50 lakh given to GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) which operates the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad.
GHIAL had in October, 2012, withdrawn a case over ‘bounced’ cheques against Mr Mallya after the airline agreed to pay the outstanding amount due to the airport operator.
However, Kingfisher made only a part of the payment and defaulted on the rest, prompting the airport operator to approach the court.
The Ministry of External Affairs recently suspended Mr Mallya’s diplomatic passport for a period of four weeks on the advice of Enforcement Directorate which two days ago obtained a non-bailable warrant against him from a Mumbai court in a money-laundering case.
The Kingfisher Airlines, promoted by Mr Mallya, has defaulted on repayment of over Rs. 9,000 crore of bank loan.