Embattled tycoon Vijay Mallya has defended his position of not being personally liable for repayment of Rs 9,431 crore loan to now defunct Kingfisher Airlines saying he had given personal guarantee for the loans “under coercion”.
Mallya, who flew to London on March 2 just days before a consortium of lenders knocked on doors of the Supreme Court to recover Rs 9,431.65 crore of loan and interest, in his deposition to the Rajya Sabha Committee on Ethics said he had approached the Bombay High Court for declaring his personal guarantee for KFA loan void way back in 2013.
“The fact of the matter is that much prior to the consortium of banks which had advanced loans to Kingfisher Airlines Ltd recalling those loans, in or about March 2013, I along with others filed Suit… in the Bombay High Court inter alia seeking a declaration that the personal guarantee dated December 21, 2010 executed by me in favour of the consortium of banks was void, ab initio and non-est on the ground that it was executed by me under coercion,” he said in a signed letter to the panel on May 2.
The Committee, headed by Karan Singh of Congress, recommended his disqualification as Rajya Sabha MP for defaulting on loan repayments.
Mallya said the case was still pending and the matter was sub-judice. “It is on this basis that I am contesting the application filed by the Consortium of banks, inter alia against me before the Debt Recovery Tribunal, Bengaluru, seeking a decree against me.”
The Supreme Court, he said, had directed DRT to dispose of the application expeditiously.
Stating that there was no tenable basis for the unanimous decision reached by the Ethics Committee, he said he had “no faith in the current climate prevailing in the country” that he would get “any justice even at the hands of my colleagues in the Ethics Committee.”
Mallya in a letter to Karan Singh on May 2 said “in this circumstances it is clear that the so-called liability that the Ethics Committee refers to is heavily contested and denied by me in pending legal proceedings before the Bombay High Court and DRT and hence there is no crystallized liability or debt finally determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be due from me to a consortium of banks.
“The question therefore of me reflecting an alleged liability in my declaration of assets and liabilities does not and cannot arise, and I maintain that my declarations are complete and accurate”.
Mallya said he no longer wished his “good name” to be further needlessly dragged in the mud.
“Accordingly, I am simultaneously addressing a letter to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha tendering my resignation as a member of the Rajya Sabha,” he said. “I believe this action on my part is in keeping with the highest standards of ethics that any member of Parliament should and ought to emulate.”