Saturday, June 3, 2023

If I am to be arrested upon arrival, I am not coming: defiant Mallya tells Supreme Court

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“If I am to be arrested upon my arrival, I am not going to come,” a defiant Vijay Mallya told the Supreme Court through his counsel today which was hearing the plea filed by a consortium of banks headed by the State Bank of India for recovery of loan from the liquor baron that runs into whopping Rs 6963 crore.

Are they interested in getting me or the money? Whatever is happening at the moment indicates otherwise. So why should I come,” asked Mallya. Upon being questioned by Justice Kurian Joseph on when does he propose to come, senior advocate MR Vaidyanathan denied having any instructions on the same.

The court also rapped Mallya for not following its last orders of declaring all overseas assets belonging to him and his family, to which his counsel said that since he is an NRI, he is not liable to come clean about his properties, and also does not plan to comply with its orders. He also claimed that since he and his wife were estranged, and the children were with her, they have not given any personal guarantee. “My personal guarantee was confined to my assets in India, not abroad,” the flamboyant industrialist told the bench.

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Mallya also defended himself by saying that his assets belonged to his children, and not him. Remaining visibly insubordinate, he also submitted to the court, “I am defaulter but not a willful defaulter. I will come back with more money.” This argument was, however, countered by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who chided the Kingfisher owner that this money belonged to the people of this country, and that he was playing with the court.

Rohatgi also cast aspersions on Mallya’s intentions, arguing that he never complied with the court’s orders to declare his assets and whatever information he gave, it was cryptic. The AG also submitted to the bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and Nariman that since he has not prayed for revoking of Mallya’s passport, he cannot make that as an excuse of not appearing before the court, adding that the government can issue one-way passport.

Giving details of his property, the RCB team owner said that all his property was available for recovery of loans, pegging Kingfisher aircrafts ar Rs 470 crore, and Rs 1200 crore as total value of Kingfisher.  

The court also questioned Mallya on how banks gave him loans of such enormous amount. “They valued my business, and considered it to be a viable deal,” Mallya replied.

During the hearing, the court ordered the sealed cover report on assets of Mallya, his wife and children to petitioner banks, and directed the DRT to dispose of the overseas assets within two months. It also assured that all protection available under law, will be given to his wife and children.  




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