Details of Vijay Mallya's foreign assets must be shared with banks: Supreme Court
New Delhi: Refusing to entertain beleaguered industrialist Vijay Mallya’s argument questioning the jurisdiction of banks to access information regarding his assets abroad, the Supreme Court today held that all information regarding the assets owned by him and his family must be made available to banks.
The banks, to whom Mallya owes over Rs 9,000 crore in loans, have been directed by the top court to furnish a report detailing the action taken on the basis of this information.
Mallya, in an affidavit filed before the apex court last week, had argued that the loans given to his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines were not based on properties and other investments he made outside India and that banks had no right to seek information about them.
However, the court refused the argument and ordered Mallya to comply with the banks’ demands.
Mallya had also asked the Supreme Court to treat as confidential a list of his foreign assets, arguing that as Non-Resident Indians, he or his family were not obliged to disclose this information "even with tax returns".
The Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating a case of loan fraud in the Rs 900 crore that Mallya was lent by IDBI bank, has said that Mallya may have used part of at least one loan to buy properties abroad.
Mallya also drew the court's ire for having failed to comply with its April 7 order directing him to deposit a specific amount in SC and provide a possible date for his return to India.
Mallya owes over Rs 9,000 crore in loan defaults to a consortium of 17 banks led by the State Bank of India. He had fled to the UK as banks upped the pressure on him by approaching courts and has refused to return since.
A repayment offer made by him against the loans he owes to banks was refused by banks earlier refused by banks who want him to pay over Rs 6,000 crore as the first installment.
The SC’s directive comes at a time when Mallya appears to be cornered from all sides. While the MEA has suspended his passport on the request of the ED, the Ethics committee of the parliament has moved to cancel his membership of the Rajya Sabha.
A Mumbai court has also issued an arrest warrant against Mallya after he failed to appear before it in a cheque bounce case three times in a row.
Mallya had recently told the Supreme Court that he was prepared to deposit an additional Rs 2,468 crore over and above the earlier offer of Rs 4,400 crore against the demands of the banks.