Contempt proceedings against Vijay Mallya to proceed only in his presence

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When Venugopal referred to the status report filed by the government, the bench observed, "we can not analyse it in his (Mallya) absence".

Last month, the Ministry of External Affairs ( MEA) informed that the 61-year-old's extradition had been stratified by the Secretary of State of the U.K. Government and added that a warrant would soon be released against him. "As and when you will produce him before us, we will go ahead and will see what is to be done", the bench told the Attorney General. The Government of India has taken steps to secure his presence.

However, Mallya was released on bail as he assured the court to abide by all conditions associated with extradition proceedings, including surrendering his passport. Let all steps be taken. Reportedly, he had been ordered by the apex court to appear in person on July 10 but, after he failed to show up, the court had set July 14 for the hearing.

As per the status report presented in the court, the Centre said Mr Mallya would be lodged in the Arthur Road in Mumbai jail after his was extradited to India.

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The apex court, which was to pronounce quantum of the sentence today against Mallya, who has alreday been convicted for its contempt, said proceedings can't move further unless the businessman is produced before him.

In May, India had asked the United Kingdom to expedite the request for extradition of Mallya and other Indian fugitives. The court was hearing contempt proceedings against Mallya filed by a consortium of 17 banks led by SBI which contended that the businessman had not made a truthful disclosure of his assets before the court and he had intentionally kept the court in dark on payment of $40 million which he received in February a year ago from British liquor major Diageo for stepping down as chairman of United Spirits Limited.

The bench had reserved its order on two pleas of lending banks seeking contempt action and a direction to Mallya to deposit Dollars 40 million received from offshore firm Diageo respectively. "Matter be put up before us on his (Mallya) production before this court", the bench noted in its order.

The banks had argued before the court that Mallya had wilfully disobeyed the orders and made "vague" disclosure about his assets.

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