The consortium of lenders to Kingfisher Airlines led by State Bank of India (SBI) has received a notice from the income tax department asking them not to auction Kingfisher House in Ville Parle. The department is understood to have said that it would otherwise resort to legal measures, sources told FE.
The intimation comes barely a week after SBI took possession of Kingfisher House following a judgement from the chief metropolitan magistrate, Mumbai, under the Sarfaesi Act filed by SBICAP Trustee Company.
In a letter addressed to SBI, SBICAP Trustee, IDBI Bank and Punjab National Bank, the I-T department said its dues amount to R442 crore (from R350 crore earlier) in the form of tax deducted at source (TDS) by Kingfisher Airlines but not paid to the government.
It added that if the banks sell the property, they will be liable to pay Rs 442 crore to the department before they can recover their loans.
Sources said that the I-T department has also put up a notice at Kingfisher House saying that anyone who purchases the house must pay the dues as the property was attached under the I-T Act.
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 Bangalore court asking lenders to first settle the dues of the department amounting to Rs 350 crore as the property was attached under the I-T Act.
Meanwhile, banks are in the process of taking possession of the Kingfisher Villa in Goa, although the matter is pending before Goa chief judicial magistrate.
Kingfisher Airlines, which has not flown since October 2012, owes over Rs 7,000 crore to a consortium of 17 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. Banks had also sold around 4 lakh shares of United Spirits pledged with them for Rs 104 crore last year.