Mallya says over­seas as­sets 746cr (but he owes 9k cr)

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - Naomi Can­ton

Lon­don: Sa­hara Force In­dia coowner and former liquor baron Vijay Mallya spends £16,000 (about Rs 15 lakh) a month on main­tain­ing his fleet of cars and his over­seas as­sets, not in­clud­ing those of his wife and chil­dren, to­tal $114 mil­lion (about Rs 746 crore), a Lon­don court has heard. In­dian banks say Mallya owes them ap­prox­i­mately Rs 9,000 crore.

Lawyers rep­re­sent­ing the In­dian busi­ness­man were at the high court on Mon­day mak­ing an ap­pli­ca­tion to have the freeze on his global as­sets dis­charged and the reg­is­tra­tion of the judg­ment of the Debt Re­cov­ery Tri­bunal (DRT), Kar­nataka, in Eng­land set aside.

On Novem­ber 24, 2017, the UK high court had reg­is­tered in UK courts the Jan­uary 19, 2017 DRT judg­ment that Mallya owed a con­sor­tium of 13 In­dian banks Rs 6,203 crore plus in­ter­est and im­ple­mented a world­wide or­der freez­ing his as­sets up to the value of £1,145,000,000 (about Rs 10,000 crore).

The In­dian banks were com­plain­ing about Mallya’s liv­ing ex­penses be­ing al­lowed to be £18,000 (ap­prox­i­mately Rs 17 lakh) whilst the freeze or­der was in force, Ni­cholas Pea­cock QC, rep­re­sent­ing Mallya, told the court. “That £18,000 is a re­sult of the life­style he has from be­ing suc­cess­ful and it is largely down to the £16,000 a month he pays to main­tain his cars to pre­serve the value of their eq­uity,” he said.

Ar­gu­ing that the freeze or­der be dis­charged, Pea­cock said there was no solid ev­i­dence Mallya would dis­si­pate his as­sets or flout court or­ders. “He has made ex­ten­sive at­tempts over an ex­tended pe­riod to set­tle the claims and meet the debt,” Pea­cock said.

He said he had made an of­fer of Rs 6,600 crore to the banks and dis­closed his over­seas as­sets as $114 mil­lion, and the over­seas as­sets of his chil­dren and wife, res­i­dent in the US, to the Supreme Court in In­dia.

“There is enough money to go round once his as­sets are re­alised, and he is will­ing to make it go round, but he has been frus­trated by the at­tach­ment or­ders ob­tained by the In­dian govern­ment in­sti­tu­tions that have been main­tained against all ap­par­ent com­mon sense. On any view he has en­gaged in good faith, made sen­si­ble and com­mer­cial sug­ges­tions as a ba­sis for ne­go­ti­a­tion. At no stage can it be said he was avoid­ing his obli­ga­tions,” Pea­cock said.

He said Mallya had in­cluded

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