HC upholds summons to Mallya in cheque bouncing case

The Delhi High Court on Friday upheld a trial court order summoning liquor baron Vijay Mallya as an accused in several cheque bouncing cases filed against him by Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL).

Justice P S Teji, while refusing to quash the summons, said that being in charge of the company he was ''equally liable to be prosecuted''.

''The trial court order cannot be termed unsustainable or illegal or abuse to the process of law and no ground is made out to set aside the same.

"It is not in dispute that the cheques in question were issued by the said company and he (Mallya), being its chairman and managing director, was responsible for the conduct of business of the company.

''Therefore, non-mentioning of the name of the petitioner [Mallya] in the complaint cannot absolve him of responsibility for the company of which the cheque in question was issued.

''There was no need to issue notice by the complainant in his name as the cheque in question were issued by the company and he being its in charge was equally liable to be prosecuted.''

 Mallya's counsel had told the High Court that his client was not involved in the day-to-day affairs of Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) and he cannot be held liable in these cases filed against him by DIAL.

The trial court had summoned Mallya as an accused following a complaint by DIAL and claimed that a cheque for Rs1 crore issued by KFA on 22 February 2012 was returned to them a month later containing the remark ''funds insufficient''.

DIAL has filed four cases in June 2012 against Mallya over KFA's cheques totalling Rs7.5 crore not being honoured.

The grounded airline had issued the cheques towards payment for services availed by them at the IGI airport here.

Mallya's counsel had also maintained that five Kingfisher KFA employees were summoned as accused in the case on the GMR-led DIAL's complaint and were granted bail.

Mallya, who was denied permission by the government to be re-elected as managing director of Kingfisher Airlines, has approached the court seeking quashing of the 2 September 2014 and 13 January 2014 orders of the trial court by which he was summoned as an accused in the case.

In January 2014, the magistrate asked Mallya to appear before him as an accused and defend himself in trial. In September 2014, the sessions judge dismissed a revision application against the previous order.