Vijay Mallya asks UK court for cash to pay lawyer fees in India

Vijay Mallya asks UK court for cash to pay lawyer fees in India

Mallya's lawyer Philip Marshall QC told the court that his client could not attend these cases himself as he would be "incarcerated".

Vijay Mallya has made an application in a UK court to give him £758,000 (Rs 7.8 crore) from the court funds office in London to pay his lawyers in India, saying he is unable to pay them himself owing to his assets being frozen whilst the bankruptcy proceedings against him are ongoing, the Times of India mentioned in a report.

The indebted tycoon made an appeal in the high court on Tuesday against a judgment by deputy ICC judge Barnett in February this year in which Barnett allowed his historic and future legal fees for defending his bankruptcy petition and his £22,500 (Rs 23 lakh) monthly living expenses to come from the court funds office, but excluded payment for his lawyers in India. At that time, Barnett had allowed Mallya to access £1.2 million (Rs 12 crore) in total from the court funds office.

The UK court was informed that Mallya owed law firms in India £555,000 (Rs 5.7 crore) and that he needed £203,000 (Rs 2 crore) for future legal costs in India, the daily mentioned in the report.

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Mallya's lawyer Philip Marshall QC told the court that his client could not attend these cases himself as he would be "incarcerated". He said there were three sets of proceedings - Mallya's compromise settlement offer that is before the Supreme Court of India, his challenge to the 11.5% interest being charged on the judgment debt, and the fugitive economic offender proceedings he is contesting.

Marshall pointed out that if Mallya was successful in the interest rate challenge, the judgment debt would be halved to £569 million (Rs 5,851 crore) and he could meet the rest of it through his remaining assets, his assets realised and contributions from third parties. He further told the court that if the compromise settlement is approved then that would dispose of the entire judgment debt.

"It is quite invidious to not allow us to instruct lawyers in India and then complain he has not progressed these cases in India," the publication quoted Marshall as saying. He argued the lack of funds were the reason why proceedings in India were not progressing, as well as the pandemic.

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