Vijay Mallya gets one more year to pay up for London home

In a reprieve for embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, Swiss bank UBS has reached a settlement with him, allowing him to remain in occupation of the plush Cornwall Terrace apartment in London for another year

Embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya has settled a legal dispute with Swiss bank UBS, to allow him time until April 2020, to pay off a mortgage loan for his central London home. The bank had sought possession of the 63-year-old businessman’s plush Cornwall Terrace apartment, over the non-payment of a 20.4-million-pound loan and a trial in the case was due last week. However, according to a court consent order issued by judge Simon Barker of the Chancery Division of the UK High Court on May 13, 2019, the trial has been vacated and the proceedings adjourned, following a settlement.

“The defendants [Mallya] should nonetheless be permitted to remain in occupation of the property… in order to allow, if possible, the loan and mortgage to be redeemed but that, if redemption has not taken place by 30 April 2020, the claimant [UBS] shall be immediately entitled to possession,” read judge Barker’s order. “The defendants acknowledging and agreeing that the claimant’s agreement to permit the defendants to remain in occupation of the property until 30 April 2020… is intended to provide the defendants with a final opportunity to redeem the loan,” it added.

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The prime property, which overlooks Regent’s Park in London, has been referred to as the ‘high class home for Dr Vijay Mallya and his family members and United Breweries Group corporate guests’, during the court proceedings. The case relates to a mortgage taken out by Rose Capital Ventures, one of Mallya’s companies, with the former Kingfisher Airlines boss, his mother Lalitha and son Sidhartha Mallya listed as co-defendants, with right of occupancy of the property. While Mallya’s legal team had claimed that the bank had called in the loan ahead of an agreed period, the bank had insisted that it was within its rights to call in the mortgage for non-payment.

The court order issued this week went in favour of the bank’s stand, as it acknowledged that UBS had an ‘immediate right to possession’ and stipulated that unless the mortgage has been redeemed by April 30, 2020, Mallya and the co-defendants must immediately hand over possession of the apartment by 4.00 pm on that date. They are not permitted to make any further applications to ‘postpone or suspend the date for giving up possession’. Additionally, Mallya must also pay up interest of 8,20,333.64 pounds accrued until April 2019 and then, any further amount accrued until May 1, 2020. He is also liable to pay legal costs of 10,47,081.18 pounds and receivers’ costs of 2,23,863.82 pounds.

The court order also forbids any further claims arising out of the bankruptcy proceedings currently instituted in the UK against Mallya, by a consortium of Indian banks led by State Bank of India (SBI). Meanwhile, Mallya remains on bail as he appeals against his extradition order to India, a hearing for which is scheduled in the UK High Court on July 2, 2019. The former Kingfisher Airlines boss is wanted in India, to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to Rs 9,000 crores.

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