Airline tycoon Vijay Mallya jailed in India

Vijay Mallya.

India’s top court has sentenced tycoon Vijay Mallya to four months in jail for disobeying an earlier court judgement linked to the collapse of his airline.

India has previously made efforts to extradite the former billionaire, who is believed to still be in London.

He made his fortune selling beer under the Kingfisher brand before branching out into aviation and Formula 1 racing.

Kingfisher Airlines was India’s second largest domestic carrier before it collapsed a decade ago.

On Monday, India’s Supreme Court found Mr Mallya guilty of contempt, as it said he failed to disclose his assets after defaulting on a loan.

He was found guilty of the same offence in 2017 for allegedly transferring $40m to his children, even as loans to Kingfisher Airlines remained unpaid, the court said at that time.

Known as the “king of good times”, in a reference to his lavish lifestyle, Mr Mallya has fought extradition from the UK to India, where he faces charges including fraud.

Mr Mallya who left India in 2016 after defaulting on debts of more than $1bn (£842m), has denied fleeing the country.

Late in 2018, a court in London ruled that he could be extradited from the UK to India to face charges there.

In 2020, Mr Mallya lost his final appeal against his extradition at the High Court in London. However, he is still believed to be living in London.

Mr Mallya faces a number of charges related to alleged financial irregularities at Kingfisher Airlines.

The carrier was wound down in 2012 amid reports that pilots and cabin crew had worked unpaid for 15 months.

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