With his assets remaining frozen during pending bankruptcy proceedings, the cash-strapped business Tycoon Vijay Mallya asked the court funds office to provide him with an additional £758,000 (Rs. 7.8 Crores).
The money was said to be needed to meet the expenses of his Indian Lawyers, who are handling three 'complicated' cases pending against him in the Indian Courts.
The UK Insolvency and Companies Court Judge Barnett had earlier in February had allowed Mallya access to £1.2 million (Rs. 12 Crore), from the court funds office, for his pending and future legal expenses in the UK. The Judge also allowed a £22,500 (Rs. 23 lakhs) monthly living expense. The money is to come from €3.3 million (Rs. 29 Crore) fund, obtained by the sale of Mallya’s property Le Grand Jardin in Cannes, France, maintained with the court funds office.
It was submitted that Mallya owed £555,000 (Rs. 5.7 Crores) to law firms in India and needs £203,000 (Rs. 2 Crores) for future legal costs.
Philip Marshall QC representing Mallya submitted that his client is in a difficult position as he cannot go to India to monitor his litigations personally. The counsel submitted that the cases need to be pushed through the Indian legal system to reach a verdict soon, and the Indian lawyers need to be paid.
The counsel submitted that it is wrong on the part of the court to criticise that his client is not conducting his cases in India promptly when he is not allowed the money to pay his lawyers.
The court was also informed that three cases are pending against Mallya in the Indian Courts- one compromise settlement offer in the Supreme Court, another his challenge to 11.5% interest on judgement debt and lastly, a Fugitive Economic Offender case. It was argued that if Mallya wins the interest rate case, the money owed by him will reduce in half, and he will be able to pay his debts. It was said that his debts could be paid using his remaining assets, the assets that will be released and third-party contribution, which will cover the whole of the judgement debt.
Philip Marshall QC referred to expenses the court allowed to give an expensive funeral to former BBC anchor Jimmy Savile who also had his assets frozen.
Advocate Tony Beswetherick representing the banks, submitted that they do not want the Indian Lawyer's fees imposed on them and that the remaining assets of Mallya will not be enough to cover his debts.