The UK High Court directed the embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya to pay British beverage giant Diageo over USD 135 million in relation to a collateral arrangement. Justice Knowles while dismissing Mallya’s defence said that an oral promise over-rides any claim of such a payment. Diageo is seeking a total of USD 175 million from the 63-year-old businessman.
Over and above the USD 135 million, Mallya is liable to pay interest incurred at a commercial rate as well as 200,000 pounds towards legal costs. The remainder of the USD 175 million, including USD 40 million paid directly to Mallya, sought by Diageo will proceed to trial expected at a much later date.
Meanwhile Mallya, who was not present in court and is separately wanted in India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to about Rs 9,000 crore, remains on bail. He awaits his July 2 oral hearing before another UK High Court judge for his appeal against his extradition ordered by UK home secretary Sajid Javid in February.