A day after UB group chief Vijay Mallya was named a wilful defaulter by United Bank of India, he suffered a setback after the Supreme Court said its Special Leave Petition has turned "infructuous" while allowing him to pursue legal remedies as are available.
In simple words, the apex court said that since the event (terming Mallya a wilful defaulter) has already happened, there's no point in trying to stop it from happening.
Legally speaking, a petition or an application to a court of law becomes infructuous when the fundamental premises upon which a petition is based no longer exist.
Kingfisher Airlines had filed the Special Leave Petition on Friday against an order from Calcutta High Court which dismissed its writ petition and an appeal against denial of the company's right to be represented by lawyers before the Grievance Redressal Committee of UBI.
With the window to move Supreme Court now appear to be closed, Mallya would now approach the Calcutta High Court again challenging the decision of the Grievance Redressal Committee, the company's counsel submitted before the apex court.
Mallya's office denied that Kingfisher has wilfully defaulted on loans extended by United Bank and claimed that non-payment related only to just Rs 7.5 crore of overdraft facility taken from the bank.
"Kingfisher and its directors would vigorously challenge the decision of United Bank. They strongly deny the allegations of wilful default for alleged non-payment of Rs 7.5 crore to the bank," Prakash Mirpuri, VP corp comm of UB Group, said in a release.
The statement reiterated Mallya's stand that he and his directors have not been given any opportunity to present their case through lawyers of their choice and that United Bank has come to a wrongful ex-parte decision in great haste when the question of legal representation was under challenge.
Following the decision of United Bank, which is the first, and till now, the only bank to term Mallya a wilful defaulter, other banks in the consortium of lenders like State Bank of India, IDBI Bank and UCO Bank are also mulling taking similar steps.