Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya was sentenced to four months in jail and was imposed a fine of Rs 2000 by the Supreme Court for a contempt of court case fating back to 2017.
Mallya was convicted of contempt over transferring $40 million to his children in violation of court orders. The fine is to be deposited within four weeks to the Supreme Court legal services authority, failing which a further sentence of two months will be added, the court said.
"To uphold the majesty of justice, we must impose adequate punishment," judges said.
The apex court also said that the transaction of 40 million dollars by Mallya to his children is "void and inoperable", ordering the recipients to return the amount with 8% interest to the recovery officer within four weeks. If the amount is not returned, Mallya's properties can be attached.
"If this is not deposited, the recovery officer can take appropriate actions for recovery of the said amount and the government of India and all agencies should assist in that process," the court order said.
The order was passed by a bench of Justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and PS Narasimha.
A plea by a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) sought contempt action and a direction to Mallya to deposit $40 million received from offshore firm Diageo.
They alleged that the liquor baron concealed the facts and diverted the money to his son Siddharth Mallya and daughters Leanna Mallya and Tanya Mallya in "flagrant violation" of the orders passed by the Karnataka High Court.
Mallya is an accused in a bank loan default case of over ₹ 9,000 crore involving his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines. Since his conviction, Mallya had been been in the UK since March 2016.
Earlier, the Centre had informed the court that though extradition of Mallya from the UK has been allowed, he could not be brought to India in view of some "secret" proceedings pending against him there, the details of which are not known to the Centre.