“Diageo is pursuing substantial repayment and compensation from Dr. Vijay Mallya and certain of his affiliate companies," a spokeswoman for Diageo said in a statement. "They include seeking compensation from Dr. Mallya for breaches of the agreements announced in February 2016 that ended his association with United Spirits."
The suit comes as Mallya gears up for an extradition hearing in London next month over allegations he committed a billion-dollar fraud. The 61-year-old was arrested in hearing in April on a warrant issued by Indian authorities. A consortium of 17 banks accuses him of willfully defaulting on more than 91 billion rupees ($1.4 billion) in debt accumulated by Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. -- an airline he founded in 2005 and shut down seven years later.
Mallya, who has been released on bail, said in a phone interview Friday the Diageo suit was being reviewed by his lawyers and he would defend any action brought against him. He has also denied the allegations related to the Indian fraud charges.
Mallya left India nearly two years ago, saying he was moving to England to be closer to his children. He has since refused to return to India and said he fears an unfair trial amid the “media frenzy and hysteria” over the charges. Mallya, an avid Twitter User, has also said government agencies are pursuing a "heavily biased investigation" and holding him guilty without trial.
The case is Diageo plc & Ors v. Mallya CL-2017-000693, High Court of Justice Queens Bench Division, Commercial Court.