Govt holding me guilty without fair trial, says Vijay Mallya
A day after the Supreme Court asked liquor baron Vijay Mallya whether his disclosure of assets and transfer of USD 40 million (over Rs 266 crore) to his children was true, the troubled businessman today accused the government of holding him guilty without fair trial.
In a series of tweets, Mallya said that the allegations levelled against him by the Supreme Court showed the ‘attitude of the government’.
“I have humbly obeyed every single court order without exception. Seems as if government is bent upon holding me guilty without fair trial,” he tweeted.
Questioning the government on policies for one time settlement in public sector banks, Mallya asked as to ‘why he was denied the same?’.
“Public Sector Banks have policies for one time settlements. Hundreds of borrowers have settled. Why should this be denied to us?” he asked in another tweet.
Showing willingness to settle the matter, he tweeted: “Our substantial offer before the Hon'ble Supreme Court was rejected by Banks without consideration. Am ready to talk settlement on fair basis.”
“Wish the Hon'ble Supreme Court would intervene and put an end to all this by directing Banks and us to negotiate and settle. We are ready,” his another tweet reads.
During the day-long hearing in the Supreme Court on Thursday, a consortium of banks led by the SBI told the court that Mallya had ‘taken it for a ride’ and urged it to initiate contempt proceedings against him for breaching the court’s orders.
The banks also sought that the court direct him to bring back USD 40 million, which Mallya had allegedly transferred to his children.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the banks, argued that Mallya has been mocking the judiciary by not accepting the orders.
He argued that Mallya had received USD 40 million from British firm Diageo Plc in February last year and transferred the money to his children in flagrant violation of various judicial orders, including those passed by the Debt Recovery Tribunal and the Karnataka High Court.
The banks accused Mallya of contempt of court as he did not disclose this USD 40 million among the assets the Supreme Court had ordered him to reveal so that the banks could recover the loan amount.
Mallya, who is in Britain, owes Rs 9,200 crore to the banks. While Rs 8,000 crore worth of his properties have been attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, he also has income tax dues of about Rs 2,000 crore.
Last month, the Indian authorities had expedite efforts to extradite him from Britain. Reacting to the government’s budgetary proposal to frame a law to prevent loan defaulters from fleeing the country, Mallya likened himself to a ‘football’ being kicked around by ‘two fiercely competitive teams’ – the BJP-led NDA and the Congress-led UPA.