Will pay Rs 4,000 crore by September: Vijay Mallya tells banks via the SC

NEW DELHI: Kingfisher Airlines and business tycoon Vijay Mallya proposed to the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it will pay back around Rs 4,000 crore to banks by September this year.

The proposal was submitted to the SC in a sealed cover.

Mallya, who owes over Rs 9,000 crore faces several cases from various state entities in a bid to recover the money he owes a consortium of 17 banks.

The SC has given the 17 banks, led by State Bank of India, a week’s time to respond to the proposal. The next hearing date has been fixed for April 7.

According to a report in the Financial Express, Mallya had proposed to pay Rs 2,000 crore, about a fourth of his dues to the banks. However, it was rejected by them, saying that such a small amount cannot be accepted. The report quoted bank sources on the condition of anonymity.

The banks are also scheduled to auction nine trademarks belonging to Kingfisher for nearly Rs 367 crore on April 30. These trademarks include Flying Models, Fly the Good Times, Funliner, Kingfisher, Flying Bird Device, Fly Kingfisher (World), and others.

On Tuesday, the CBI said it will soon seek details of Mallya’s offshore accounts. The agency is probing him for alleged bank fraud.

When his counsel was asked about Mallya’s current location and whether he was back in India, the former replied that his presence was not needed in the matter.

Asserting that Mallya’s proposal should be kept in a sealed envelope, his counsel said that negotiations with the banks are underway, but the media is exaggerating the issue, to which

Justice Kurien Joseph observed that the ‘media ultimately stands for public interest’.

Meanwhile, the banks have told the apex court that they need time to review the proposal.

Earlier, the auction for Kingfisher House ended with lenders to the grounded airline failing to get any bids. The base price of Rs. 150 crore for the office at Andheri in Mumbai’s western suburbs was reportedly “too high”.

The Enforcement Directorate had earlier asked Mallya to make a “personal appearance” on March 18 under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

But the flamboyant business magnate asked for a date in April, making it clear that he would not be able to appear before that.

Mallya, who is currently in the United Kingdom and is being sought out in India over charges of money laundering, claimed that the banks gave him loans after evaluating all aspects and asserted that he is not trying to evade the law enforcement agencies but is on a personal visit.

(With inputs from ANI)