Mallya renews offer to settle with banks, says he is being hounded
26 June 2018
Former liquor baron and failed airline promoter Vijay Mallya said today that he has made and will continue to make every effort to settle his dues with public sector banks (PSBs).
“Tired of this relentless pursuit of me by the (Indian) government & its criminal agencies,” Mallya tweeted.
In a separate statement Mallya, who is wanted in India over loan default, said he has become a "poster boy" of bank default and a lightning rod of public anger.
Breaking his longish silence to state the "factual position in response to the controversy unfortunately surrounding" him, Mallya said he had written letters to both the Prime Minister and the finance minister on 15 April 2016 to explain his side of the story.
"No response was received from either of them," he said, while releasing a two-year-old letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He further said," I have been accused by politicians and the media alike of having stolen and run away with Rs9,000 crore that was loaned to Kingfisher Airlines (KFA). Some of the lending banks have also labelled me a wilful defaulter".
Mallya, who is currently fighting against extradition to India from the UK, also said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) have filed chargesheets against him "with various untenable and blatantly false allegations acting at the behest of the government and lending banks".
"The ED have also attached assets belonging to me, my Group Companies and companies owned and / or controlled by my family under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) currently valued at approximately Rs13,900 crore," he added.
"I wrote letters to both the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister on 15th April 2016 and am making these letters public to put things in the right perspective. No response was received from either of them," Mallya said.
The liquor baron flew to the UK in 2016 and has been fighting against moves to extradite him to India to face trial.
The 62-year-old is wanted in India for defaulting on loans worth crores and also in a money-laundering case. He left India just when a group of banks launched efforts to recover unpaid loans from him. Since then, he has been living in a mansion near London and has been spotted at many events. Last year, he was arrested in London on an extradition warrant and released on bail.
"I respectfully say that I have made and continue to make every effort, in good faith to settle with the public sector banks. If politically motivated extraneous factors interfere, there is nothing that I can do," he said.
"The surprising fact is that the ED has objected in court to my group's applications for sale of assets in order to allow me to repay creditors, including public sector banks," he said, commenting that it raised the "fundamental question of whether the government wants me to repay the public sector banks or not".
Mallya is s fighting numerous lawsuits in the UK and in India over fraud and money-laundering allegations. He was arrested in London more than a year ago and is waging another fight to block extradition in a different court about three miles across from the high court.
Eaarlier in May, the same court had ruled that the lenders, including IDBI Bank Ltd, can enforce an Indian court ruling that relates to allegations that Mallya wilfully defaulted on about $1.4 billion in debt for his defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. Henshaw also refused to overturn a worldwide order freezing Mallya’s assets. (Indian banks win Rs10,000 cr lawsuit against Mallya in UK