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Mallya fails to delay USD 40mn Diageo claim, legal costs mount in UK

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Even as renewed an appeal against his to India, the liquor tycoon suffered another legal setback on Friday in a separate USD 40-million claims case brought by British plc in the

Justice ruled against the 63-year-old businessman's application to seek a delay in the full hearing in the case scheduled for May 23 and additionally ordered him to pay legal costs of 34,000 pounds.

She was extremely critical of the unexplained delays by in clearing the unpaid invoices of his previous solicitors Greenwoods, which resulted in his new solicitors (JHA) finding themselves in difficulty and wanting to seek an unfair adjournment.

The delay is at best unexplained and arguably of the defendant's [Mallya] own making. In my view, the claimants [Diageo] are entitled to have their claim progressed expeditiously, Justice Moulder said, concluding that was the of its own misfortune.

The claimants say that if the May hearing is adjourned they will suffer prejudice there would be a race in relation to Mallya's assets which are subject to a number of competing claims; Mallya may be extradited and this will affect the ability to enforce the judgment against him, the noted, in reference to the order and worldwide freezing order already in place against Mallya.

While the agreed to a short extension until April 23 for Mallya's new lawyers to submit their evidence to the court, having missed an April 5 deadline, the ordered that meanwhile the must pay additional legal costs of 34,000 pounds for Diageo's lawyers within 28 days.

Diageo, which had acquired Mallya's nearly six years ago, is claiming USD 40 million paid to him as part of an alleged breach of agreement.

The UK-based is also claiming USD 140 million from Mallya, his son and two linked to them for alleged questionable payments.

The case, dating back to November 2017, is being contested by Mallya and will now go ahead for a full hearing at the Business and Property Courts of the on May 23.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 19:00 IST
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