Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that Vijay Mallya, who recently resigned as chairman of United Spirits, has left the country on March 2, reported PTI. Mallya owes around Rs 7,000 crore to 13 Indian banks, which on Tuesday had filed a petition in the Supreme Court to prevent him from leaving the country. Mallya had earlier said he planned to leave India and move to the United Kingdom to be closer to his son. The apex courto allowed a notice be served to the businessman through the Indian High Commission in London and his counsel.
The government's top lawyer also informed the Supreme Court that the value of Mallya's assets abroad is far higher than the loans taken by him. The court asked the banks whether they should have given loans to Mallya without securing adequate assets as guarantee. Mallya, in an open letter, had defended himself and said the State Bank of India and other banks had lent him money despite knowing about his company’s financial situation. He claimed he was being made the “poster boy” for bank defaults, though the banks were also culpable.
Earlier this week, the Debt Recovery Tribunal refused an interim order to freeze Mallya’s passport, but had banned him from accessing the Rs 515 crore liquor company Diageo paid him for leaving United Spirits. The tribunal said he could not use the money till his case with the banks had been settled. He owes the State Bank of India alone around Rs 1,500 crore.
Hundreds of former employees of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, which was also owned by Mallya, have said that they have not been paid. Kingfisher Airlines stopped functioning in October 2012. On Wednesday, many former employees whose salaries are pending protested against Mallya in Mumbai.