An online auction for Vijay Mallya’s flagship property in Mumbai closed on Thursday without any bidders, PTI reported. The base price for the property – Rs 150 crore – was too high, according to reports. An arm of State Bank of India, SBICAP Trustee Company, attempted to auction Kingfisher House in Mumbai's Vile Parle suburb to start recovering part of the Rs 9,000 crore Mallya owes 17 banks in India. A Hyderabad court on Tuesday had issued non-bailable warrants against the businessman in connection with cheque payments worth Rs 2 crore that did not go through.
The merchant banking arm of SBI took possession of the 2,401-square-metre property in February. The Kingfisher Villa in Goa, worth around Rs 90 crore, was also taken over by banks. Mallya left India on March 2, shortly after resigning as chairman of United Spirits. PTI reported that the Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday interrogated the chief financial officers of Kingfisher Airlines in the loan default case.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that banks will recover all the money loaned to Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines, adding that the case had given the country’s banking and private sectors a “bad name”. He also said, “It is dangerous for the future if [we] are not able to remedy this.” The Bharatiya Janata Party came under fire during the first half of the Budget session in Parliament after Mallya’s departure from the country.
In another development, Mallya on Thursday sought time till April to appear before the Enforcement Directorate in the money-laundering case registered against him. The ED is investigating whether the businessman diverted loans worth Rs 900 crore from IDBI bank to offshore accounts. Reuters reported that Dutch brewing company Heineken is likely to ask Mallya to step down from the board of United Breweries, India's largest brewer.