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