Vijay Mallya on Friday took to Twitter and said he was ready to negotiate and settle Kingfisher Airlines’ loan default. “Public sector banks have policies for one-time settlements (and) hundreds of borrowers have settled. Why should this be denied to us?,” Mallya said, adding that his substantial offer before the Supreme Court was rejected by banks without consideration. “Am ready to talk settlement on fair basis,” he said. Mallya said he wishes the Supreme Court would intervene and “put an end to all this by directing banks and us to negotiate and settle. We are ready”.
He also said the allegations made by the attorney general against him before the Supreme Court “only prove the attitude of the government” against him and added that he has obeyed every single court order without exception. “Seems as if government is bent upon holding me guilty without fair trial.”
Kingfisher Airlines, which has not flown since October 2012, owes close to R9,000 crore to bankers who have been trying to recover their money by selling securities pledged by the firm. These include real estate and shares in multiple group entities.
The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Mallya if he had been truthful after a consortium of banks led by SBI alleged that $40 million had been transferred by Mallya to his three children in complete violation of the Karnataka High Court order.
Moreover, the fact that $40 million was received by Mallya from Diageo had not been disclosed before the court here, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the banks, said.
Lenders to Kingfisher have not been able to recover their dues and their efforts have met with multiple hurdles. Kingfisher House is among the assets pledged by the company to a consortium of 17 banks. In 2013, the I-T department had moved a Bengaluru court that asked lenders to first settle the dues of the department amounting to R350 crore as the property had been attached under the I-T Act.
The IT department had said Kingfisher Airlines (KAL) had deducted tax at source from employee’s salary and other payments, but did not to remit it to the government account.
Earlier this week, banks led by SBI could not find buyers for Kingfisher House and Kingfisher Villa. While Kingfisher House, the erstwhile headquarters of the airline, was put under the hammer at a reserve price of R103.5 crore, the villa in Goa had a reserve price of R73 crore.
Karnataka High Court re-issues bailable warrant against Mallya
The Karnataka High Court on Friday re-issued a bailable arrest warrant against United Breweries (Holdings) (UBHL) chairman Vijay Mallya for allegedly violating an undertaking given by him and his companies that equity shares in UBHL will not be transferred to British spirits major Diageo. The division bench of the high court, headed by justices BV Nagaratna and BS Patil, extended the returnable date to June 1 and increased the bailable amount to R50 lakh for executing the bond. On January 27, a division bench of the high court comprising justices Jayant Patel and Aravind Kumar had issued the bailable warrant. Subsequently, the warrant was re-issued on February 17 which was bailable on executing a bond for R1 lakh, as Mallya had failed to personally appear before the court.