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Apex court holds Kingfisher plea infructuous

Posted on Sep 02 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Sep 2 : The Supreme Court Tuesday declined to hear Kingfisher Airlines's plea that the United Bank of India should not have declared it a wilful defaulter without hearing its case.

A bench of Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said the petition had become infructuous as the state-run bank had already declared the airline a wilful defaulter.

The order can be challenged before the Calcutta High Court, they said.

Appearing for the grounded airlines, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the court that they were intimated about the bank's grievance panel meeting Friday and were given just 72 hours to appear before it.

He said the next two days being Saturday and Sunday, nothing could have been done.

Describing everything as pre-planned, Singhvi said the grievance panel meeting started at 10.30 a.m. Monday and ended by 11.30 a.m. By that time it was all over in the media that Kingfisher Airlines has been declared a wilful defaulter.

He said that being declared a wilful defaulter would slam all the doors for getting loans for the business activities.

The UBI Monday had declared KFA chairman Vijay Mallya and three other directors of the airlines as wilful defaulters.

The airlines had challenged the Aug 28 order of the Calcutta High Court which it had moved against what it described as "arbitrary, unreasonable, untenable and unlawful denial of the right of the petitioner to be represented by advocates of its choice at the hearing a by the Grievance Redressal Committee constituted by the United Bank of India".

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