United Breweries (Holdings) Chairman Vijay Mallya said that he had faith in India’s judicial system and he was “sure judicial relief” would come his way because he was there was no “legal basis” to the accusations that he had stolen money through Kingfisher Airlines, Mint reported. Mallya owes around Rs 9,000 crore to 17 banks in India and faces charges of money laundering.
At the company’s 100th Annual General Meeting, he said, “The business (of Kingfisher Airlines) failed due to high fuel prices, due to adverse government policies by taxation and of course the failure of aviation engines.” Mallya said he was “accused of of stealing and siphoning off Rs 6,000 crore out of the Kingfisher Airlines without any legal basis, whatsoever.” He also said the Indian government has made him the “poster boy of bad loans”, but said it would be contested in courts of law.
Mallya has said he cannot come to India to face allegations against him because the government had suspended his passport earlier in the year. However, the Centre said the businessman could easily apply for an Emergency Certificate at the nearest Indian Embassy or High Commission to return to India. He explained that this certificate was meant especially to provide an Indian citizen with the required travel documents to return to the country.
The embattled businessman left India on March 2 after stepping down as chief of United Breweries. He had said earlier that he is unlikely to return to the country. United Breweries recently announced that Mallya will continue as chairman of the company, though the Securities and Exchange Board of India had ruled that wilful defaulters cannot hold board positions at listed companies or raise money from the securities markets.