Indian fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya has lost the legal fight to keep his London home after a UK court refused to grant him a stay of enforcement in a dispute with Swiss bank UBS.
The 18/19 Cornwall Terrace luxury apartment overlooking Regent’s Park in London, described in court as an "extraordinarily valuable property worth many tens of millions of pounds", is currently being occupied by Mallya’s 95-year-old mother Lalitha, the Hindustan Times reported.
Delivering his judgment virtually for the Chancery Division of the High Court, Deputy Master Matthew Marsh concluded there were no grounds for him to grant further time for the Mallya family to repay a GBP 20.4-million loan to UBS – the claimant in the case.
"The claimant’s position was a reasonable one… further time is not likely to make any material difference," Deputy Master Marsh ruled.
"I would also add from my review of the correspondence, I can see no basis whatever for the suggestion that has been made that the claimant has misled the first defendant [Vijay Mallya]… in conclusion, I dismiss the first defendant’s application,” he said.
The judge also declined permission to appeal against his order or to grant a temporary stay of enforcement, which means UBS can proceed with the possession process to realise its unpaid dues.
"I will refuse permission to appeal and therefore it follows that I will not be granting a stay," said Marsh.
Mallya’s barrister, Daniel Margolin QC, indicated that the 65-year-old businessman plans to pursue an appeal before a High Court Chancery Division Judge as it has "serious consequences" for his clients, including Mallya’s elderly mother who currently resides at the address.
Meanwhile, Mallya is wanted in India to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to an alleged INR 9,000 crore related to loans made to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.