Mallya says his foreign assets are worth Rs780 crore

Vijay MallyaBusinessman Vijay Mallya, even while maintaining that as a Non-resident Indian he is not obliged to disclose the value of his assets abroad, reportedly informed the Supreme Court on Thursday that his collective family assets abroad amounted to Rs780 crore.

The Economic Times reported that the business tycoon gave the information to the country's top court in a sealed cover, and said that he didn't have to disclose details of these as he, including his family, were non-resident Indians.

Mallya also said in an affidavit that no part of the overseas wealth had been acquired with loans made by banks to Kingfisher Airlines.

The businessman owes dues of Rs9,000 crore to 17 banks who loaned funds to Kingfisher Airlines, which ran into trouble and stopped flying in 2012.

Mallya also dismissed another prayer for him to return to the country on the grounds that his passport had been suspended unilaterally and ex-parte by the ministry of external affairs without even issuing him a show-cause notice. The Enforcement Directorate had also obtained a non-bailable warrant against him in a "demonstrably false case", he said.

Mallya is reported to have said that Kingfisher Airlines' woes should be attributed to high aviation fuel prices and a credit squeeze by banks, and the state-run Air India, with  higher liability to banks, has faced no coercive measures to pay up dues.

Mallya also sought permission to submit details of his assets in a sealed cover on 26 June.

"Statement of assets was confined to assets in India alone and overseas assets were not disclosed which as a Non-resident Indian, Respondent no 3 (Vijay Mallya) is not obliged to disclose even to income tax authorities in his Indian tax returns," an affidavit filed on behalf of Mallya said.

The businessman claimed that he is an NRI for income tax and foreign exchange regulation purposes since 1988.

According to a report in The Indian Express he has submitted before the court that the information regarding the of assets "owned by him, his three children and estranged wife" were a private matter. He has also said that neither did the banks take into account the overseas assets when they extended loans to him, nor did he buy them using the loans. So there is no reason to put the details of these assets in the public domain.

Mallya had been directed by the apex court to disclose by 21 April the total assets owned by him and his family in India as well as abroad. The apex court had also sought an indication from him about when he will appear before it.

Apart from him being declared a wilful defaulter by lenders to Kingfisher Airlines, a Hyderabad court too has issued a non-bailable warrant against Mallya in a cheque bouncing case.

In the affidavit, Mallya said Kingfisher Airlines was a business failure due to reasons beyond control.