The Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) on Tuesday suggested the bankers’ consortium led by State Bank of India (SBI) to explore the possibility of adjusting around R2,000 crore deposited by Vijay Mallya-controlled United Breweries (Holdings) (UBHL) in the Karnataka High Court as security against loans by troubled businessman and his companies. Vijay Mallya owes around R9,000 crore to bankers, which he had taken to run his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
The Tribunal also adjourned the case hearing to June 13. It would decide on that day the possibility of disposing of a bunch of 26 interlocutory applications (IAs) filed before it by various defendants and petitioners in the debt recovery case involving UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya.
The DRT, which is hearing the debt recovery case against Mallya filed by SBI and other banks, told the counsels of the bankers to adjust the money so that their outstanding loan amount would come down along with the interest. This will help bankers to also reduce the debt burden, the DRT suggested orally.
“My duty is to protect your money. I suggest you to explore the option of adjusting the amount deposited by Vijay Mallya in the High Court so that you can reduce the liabilities for the banks as well as reduce interest burden,” C R Benakanahalli, presiding officer, DRT, Bengaluru told the counsel for bankers. It will also help defending parties in this case, the tribunal said.
In a statement issued recently, Mallya had stated that banks have recovered R1,244 crore in pledged shares since April 2013 and an additional R1,250 deposited in the Karnataka High Court by UBHL.
The DRT also objected to the counsels filing additional interlocutory applications stating that it would delay the disposal of the original case filed by bankers in August 2013. “If you keep filing IAs one after another, when will I dispose the original application. You all know the time limit fixed by the Supreme Court. We need to dispose the case before July 9,” Benakanahalli observed.
Earlier, Diageo Plc filed another memo highlighting a lapse on the part of bankers in filing the list of pending IAs as directed by the DRT during the last week’s hearing.
The SBI also sought more time to present their arguments in the case stating that their Senior counsel was out of the country. The tribunal, accepting their request for additional time, adjourned the case hearing to June 13.
Meanwhile, Mallya’s counsels have challenged in the Karnataka High Court the DRT’s order of restricting the $75 million payout.