The Delhi High Court on Monday directed Kingfisher Airlines Ltd (KFA) MD Vijay Mallya and United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd MD Harish Bhat to appear before it on October 29, in a matter where a French turbo aircraft supplier has sought execution of a foreign decree amounting to $18 million against the grounded airline.
Avion De Transport Regional Gie (ATR) had earlier this year moved the Delhi high Court seeking execution of a decree passed by a UK court directing Kingfisher Airlines to pay $18 million. United Breweries Holdings was the corporate guarantor in a deal signed between ATR and Kingfisher Airlines.
Earlier on July 5 this year, Justice Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court had allowed authorised representatives on behalf of both the MDs to appear before the court, subject to the condition that Kingfisher Airlines and United Breweries Holdings would submit affidavits making a full disclosure of all their movable and immovable assets in India.
However, Justice Muralidhar ordered the personal appearance of the MDs, after he considered ATR's contention that instead of filing an affidavit listing movable and immovable assets across India, Kingfisher Airlines and United Breweries Holdings had submitted a list of assets situated in Delhi, which amounted to a paltry Rs 6.86 lakh.
Terming it as 'willful disobedience', the judge said that a 'serious view' should be taken of the same and went on to levy costs of Rs 50,000 on the companies.
Earlier on July 5, Justice Muralidhar permitted Sanjay Bahadur, vice-president (corporate affairs) of Kingfisher Airlines and CK Sharma, senior general manager of United Breweries Holdings, to appear on behalf of the two MDs, after they had filed affidavits in support of their applications seeking exemptions.
The present applications are allowed, subject to the condition that the MDs of judgment debtors 1 and 2 (Kingfisher Airlines and United Breweries Holdings) will appear as and when directed by the court and that on all the hearings, their authorised representatives will remain present, the judge had said in his order dated July 5.
Justice Muralidhar had also recorded that in case, the companies fail to comply with the conditions the court will be constrained to require the presence of the MDs of judgment debtors.