NEW DELHI (AP) — India's top court on Tuesday found wanted tycoon Vijay Mallya guilty of disobeying its order barring him from transferring $40 million to his children.
Mallya, who fled to London last year, is wanted in India on charges of money laundering and bank demands that he pay back more than a billion dollars in loans extended to his now-defunct airline. India has been seeking his extradition over the charges, which Mallya denies.
The Supreme Court in its ruling Tuesday acted on a plea by Indian banks, who said Mallya received $40 million from the British firm Diageo and transferred it to his son and two daughters illegally. The court asked Mallya to appear before it in July to decide the punishment.
Mallya was famous for his flashy lifestyle and lavish parties attended by fashion models and Bollywood stars. He was once hailed as India's version of British tycoon Richard Branson for his investments in a brewing and liquor company, an airline, a Formula One team and an Indian Premier League cricket club.
He ran into trouble when he failed to return millions of dollars of loans and left India last year amid attempts by a group of banks to recover the money.
India's External Affairs Ministry says Britain is still considering its request to issue a warrant for Mallya and to extradite him.