Mallya of­fers to re­pay 100% bank money, slams me­dia

Gulf Times - - INDIA -

Fugi­tive liquor baron Vi­jay Mallya, wanted in a Rs90bn bank loan de­fault case, yes­ter­day of­fered to pay back “100% of the prin­ci­pal amount” as spec­u­la­tions over his ex­tra­di­tion were raised after AgustaWest­land mid­dle­man Chris­tian Michel James was brought to In­dia for in­ter­ro­ga­tion.

Mallya’s move came a day after the Bri­tish na­tional and al­leged mid­dle­man in the Rs36bn AgustaWest­land VVIP chop­per deal was ex­tra­dited to In­dia from Dubai and handed over to the Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (CBI) late on Tues­day.

Lash­ing out at the me­dia nar­ra­tive about his ex­tra­di­tion to In­dia, Mallya said: “I see the quick me­dia nar­ra­tive about my ex­tra­di­tion de­ci­sion. That is sep­a­rate and will take its own le­gal course.

“The most im­por­tant point is pub­lic money and I am of­fer­ing to pay 100% back. I humbly re­quest the banks and gov­ern­ment to take it. If pay­back re­fused, Why?” he said.

Late in 2017, In­dia filed ex­tra­di­tion pro­ceed­ings against Mallya which he has con­tested and pend­ing the fi­nal ver­dict in the case, he is cur­rently on bail in London. The court is set to pro­nounce its ver­dict on De­cem­ber 10.

“Air­lines strug­gling fi­nan­cially partly be­cause of high ATF (avi­a­tion tur­bine fuel) prices. King­fisher was a fab(ulous) air­line that faced the high­est ever crude prices of $140/bar­rel. Losses mounted and that’s where banks money went.

“I have of­fered to re­pay 100% of the prin­ci­pal amount to them. Please take it,” Mallya tweeted.

King­fisher be­gan de­fault­ing on loans be­gin­ning 2009-10.

Hit­ting out at the po­lit­i­cal par­ties and me­dia for ac­cus­ing him of run­ning away with the money, the head of the now de­funct air­lines said that all of the ac­cu­sa­tion was false.

“Politi­cians and me­dia are con­stantly talk­ing loudly about my be­ing a de­faulter who has run away with PSU (pub­lic sec­tor un­der­tak­ing) banks’ money.

“All this is false. Why don’t I get fair treat­ment and the same loud noise about my com­pre­hen­sive set­tle­ment of­fer be­fore the Kar­nataka High Court. Sad,” he said.

On Septem­ber 12, dur­ing the hear­ing of his case in London’s West­min­ster Mag­is­trates’ Court, Mallya told re­porters that he left In­dia after meet­ing Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley in 2016, which the min­is­ter called “fac­tu­ally false”.

“I had a sched­uled meet­ing in Geneva. I met the fi­nance min­is­ter be­fore I left... re­peated my of­fer to set­tle with the banks. That is the truth.”

Mallya had also said he had told Jait­ley that he was leav­ing for London.

Mallya, who left In­dia on March 2, 2016, also claimed that he had made a com­pre­hen­sive set­tle­ment of­fer be­fore the Kar­nataka High Court.

The liquor bar­ron also pointed out that for three decades by run­ning In­dia’s largest al­co­holic bev­er­age group, he contributed thou­sands of crores to the state ex­che­quers.

“King­fisher Air­lines also contributed hand­somely to the states. Sad loss of the finest air­line but still I of­fer to pay banks so no loss. Please take it,” he said in an­other tweet.

Mallya is wanted for com­mit­ting al­leged bank frauds of Rs90bn, and is cur­rently holed up in the UK, fight­ing sev­eral cases.

On June 22, the En­force­ment Direc­torate moved the Spe­cial PMLA Court to de­clare Mallya a ‘fugi­tive eco­nomic of­fender’ and con­fis­cate all his prop­er­ties, es­ti­mated at more Rs120bn, mak­ing it the first such case of its kind un­der the new FEOA (Fugi­tive Eco­nomic Of­fender Act) law.

Jour­nal­ists wait out­side the Pa­tiala House Court where Bri­tish na­tional Chris­tian Michel James was pro­duced by the CBI.

CBI of­fi­cials es­cort the al­leged mid­dle­man to the court.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Qatar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.