Vijay Mallya likens himself to ‘football’, says CBI lacks understanding of economics
Beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya today lashed out at the ongoing investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and efforts by the government to extradite him from Britain where he has taken shelter since fleeing India on March 2 last year.
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.
"Media happily being used as the pitch. I am the football. Two fiercely competitive teams NDA versus UPA playing. Unfortunately, no referees," he said in a tweet today.
Mallya, whose now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to various banks, also accused the central probe agency of making ‘false and misconceived’ allegations and even questioned the police’s understanding of ‘economics’.
"Am shocked at CBI allegations. All false and misconceived, to say the least. What do a bunch of elite Police know about business and economics?" Mallya asked.
In the Budget 2017-18, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had stated that the government plans to bring in a law to confiscate the assets of economic offenders fleeing the country till they submit to the judiciary.
In the recent past, there have been instances of ‘big-time offenders, including economic offenders’ fleeing the country to escape the reach of law, Jaitley had said in his Budget speech.
"We have to ensure that the law is allowed to take its own course," the minister had said. Jaitley said legislative changes or even a new law would
be brought to deal with such absconders.
Last week, a CBI court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Mallya in the Rs 720-crore IDBI Bank loan default case as the agency sought his extradition from the UK. Mallya’s name is among the list of controversial Indians and other foreign citizens who find Britain a safer place than their home countries.
The total attachment made by the agency in this case has now shot up to Rs 8,041 crore. This was one of the largest attachment of assets made by ED in a PMLA case till now. The agency had registered a money laundering case against him and others based on an FIR registered last year by CBI.