The Debt Recovery Tribunal on Thursday allowed a plea by a consortium of banks, led by the State Bank of India, seeking permission to initiate the process of recovering more than Rs 9,000 crore in unpaid dues from beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya, reported ANI. The banks will now attach Mallya’s assets to recover the money.
The Bengaluru bench said Rs 6203.35 crore would be recovered from Mallya’s now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, Kingfisher Finvest and United Breweries Holdings Ltd. The court also said that an interest rate of 11.5% from the date of filing the application in 2013 should be added to the dues, reported Mint. “I hereby ask the bankers to start the process of recovery of Rs 6,203 crore at the interest rate of 11.5% per annum from Mallya and his companies,” said DRT Presiding Officer K Sreenivasan.
A non-bailable warrant had been issued against Mallya in connection with the case. The Central Bureau of Investigation that is looking probing the case had also initiated the process to have him extradited from the United Kingdom. Mallya left the country on March 2, 2016, and has been in the UK since then.
The Supreme Court on January 11 issued a notice to Mallya, directing him to submit an affidavit in response to a petition filed against him by the consortium. The banks had demanded that Mallya deposit in the court the $40 million (approximately Rs 273 crore) he is believed to have received from British firm Diageo in February 2016.
The counsel for the banks, senior advocate Shyam Divan, said that Mallya’s move to transfer the $40 million to his son’s account was in “flagrant violation” of the Karnataka High Court and Debt Recovery Tribunal’s orders.
In October 2016, the apex court had directed Mallya to disclose his overseas properties. Mallya had claimed earlier that he was not paid the $40 million in cash and that the amount was spent to make payments and used for other business requirements. In March, Diageo had said that it had paid Mallya the amount as part of the Rs 515 crore payment they were to give him for resigning as chairman of United Spirits. Earlier, the Debt Recovery Tribunal had barred Mallya from receiving the payment, but Diageo had said that it did not receive the DRT’s order.