The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday questioned UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya in New Delhi in connection with a R900-crore loan from IDBI Bank. According to the investigating agency, the loan was secured in alleged violation of banking norms for his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
CBI summoned Mallya to their headquarters and questioned him for “several hours”, a CBI spokesperson told FE. However, the official did not divulge further details. “CBI officials questioned Mallya for several hours in an ongoing investigation as part of the case registered against Mallya and others. A case has already been registered against him and other officials of IDBI Bank among others,” the spokesperson added.
In October, the CBI had conducted searches on residences and offices of Mallya at five places in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Goa. They had found several incriminating documents during searches, which have been scrutinised. It is alleged that officials of IDBI colluded with the promoters/directors and CFO of Kingfisher Airlines and sanctioned credit limits of R900 crore in violation of banking norms, thereby causing loss to the said bank by such fraudulent act, the CBI had said.
The investigating agency has registered a case under various sections of IPC (Indian Penal Code) and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against Mallya and other officials of his airline company and IDBI Bank.
Vijay Mallya owes around R7,000 crore to a consortium of 17 banks led by state-owned State Bank of India. The debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines was grounded on October 1, 2012 as the passenger carrier cancelled all 50 flights after a section of its employees went on strike leaving thousands stranded. Subsequently, the airline lost its operator’s licence on October 20, 2012.
In August 2014, CBI had served a notice on IDBI Bank over its loan to the defunct airline company, saying this extent of exposure was not bona fide.