Recently, the Supreme Court of India imposed a fine of ₹2000 on fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, the liquor baron. 2000 and Vijay Mallya started trending on Twitter. As soon as people heard the news, what ensued was a meme fest on social media. Because, hey, ₹2000 for Vijay Mallya is probably peanuts. Add to that, Mr Mallya also expressed his disappointment at this verdict. Here are some of the gems.

But this is not what happened. ₹2000 was just the tip of the iceberg and people were quick to jump on the bandwagon and create memes and uproar. Let’s unpack the case and the actual judgement, shall we?

In case you have forgotten, here’s a quick primer. Vijay Mallya and his companies have found themselves in financial scandals, scams, and controversies since 2012. A group of 17 Indian banks are trying to collect approximately ₹90 billion from the businessman. Several central agencies are investigating his assets for financial fraud and money laundering.


Now, coming back to this incident. Because of the charges on him, the courts have stripped Mallya of certain rights. And now the courts have found him guilty of contempt on two accounts. One is his disobedience to fully disclose his assets, and the other is the violation of a Karnataka High Court order that restrained him from alienating his assets. In simple words, financial transactions. Mallya transferred $40 million, from his British firm to his three children.

And now because of this contempt of the court, Vijay Mallya has been sentenced to a four-month jail term and a fine of ₹2000 was imposed on him. ₹2000 is the highest amount under the Contempt of Courts Act. He was fined and sentenced only for these two offences. Not the ₹90 billion fraud.

NY Times

The bench presided by Justice U U Lalit said he “shall be bound to deposit the amount received by such beneficiaries along with interest at the rate of 8 per cent per annum with the concerned Recovery Officer within four weeks.” In case the amount is not received, Recovery Officers can take appropriate proceedings. Failing to do so will add two months more to the jail term.

Vijay Mallya has been living in the UK since March 2016 and has denied fleeing from India. He is currently on bail on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard. Just another day when we should read the news first and then react on it.