Thursday, November 30, 2023

“Take your money”: Vijay Mallya to banks outside London court

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Liquor baron and fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya asked the Indian banks to take back 100 per cent of the principal amount owed to them at the end of his three-day British High Court appeal against an extradition order to India.

Mallya moved the High Court on Thursday against his extradition to India on the charges of fraud and money laundering resulting from the collapse of his defunct company Kingfisher Airlines.

The 64-year-old fled India and moved to London in March 2016. Mallya owes Indian banks more than Rs 9,000 crores.

“I humbly request the banks with folded hands to take 100 per cent of your principal back” said Mallya outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London.“The Enforcement Directorate attached the assets on the complaint by the banks that I was not paying them. I have not committed any offences under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) that the Enforcement Directorate should suo moto attach my assets,” he added.

“I am saying, please take your money. However, the ED is saying no, we have a claim over these assets. So, the ED on the one side and the banks on the other are fighting over the same assets,” he added.

“If the CBI and the ED are going to be reasonable, it’s a different story. What all they are doing to me for the last four years is totally unreasonable.”

The two-member bench comprising Lord Justice Stephen Irwin and Justice Elisabeth Laing, presiding over the appeal, concluded hearing the arguments in the case and said they will be handing down their verdict at a later date after considering the oral as well as written submissions in the case.

Mallya had received permission to appeal against his extradition order signed off by former UK home secretary Sajid Javid last February only on one ground, which challenges the Indian government’s prima facie case against him of fraudulent intentions in acquiring bank loans.

Mallya remains on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April 2017 involving a bond worth 650,000 pounds and other restrictions on his travel while he contests that ruling.

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