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HC Allows Kingfisher Airlines to Argue Before PNB in Wilful Defaulter Case

Vijay Mallya,

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday upheld its single judge's decision allowing Kingfisher Airlines lawyers to appear before lending bank Punjab National Bank (PNB) in the process to declare the ailing carrier and its guarantors, Vijay Mallya and UBHL, as wilful defaulters.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw dismissed the appeal filed by PNB against the August 28 order of the single judge who had also stayed the bank's notice to the extent that the airline and its guarantors would be held wilful defaulters for not replying within seven days from August 21.

"The appeal (filed by PNB) is dismissed... The respondents (Kingfisher) shall appear through their counsel," the bench said.

PNB, in its plea, had challenged the high court order which had allowed lawyers to represent the airline in the proceedings to decide whether the carrier and its guarantors, Mallya and United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd (UBHL) are to be held wilful defaulters for non-payment of dues of over Rs 770 crore.

PNB had contended that it had issued a notice on August 21 to the airline asking why it and its guarantors be not declared wilful defaulters for non-payment of dues as per RBI guidelines.

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