Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya on Thursday told the Supreme Court that he did not have enough money to pay the Rs 9,000 crore he owes banks in the country, The Times of India reported. The apex court was hearing the loan default case against the former liquor baron filed by a group of banks led by the State Bank of India.
The banks had asked the Supreme Court to direct Mallya to bring back the $40 million (around Rs 267 crore) that he had received from British liquor company Diageo Plc. Mallya told the court that all of his assets had been attached by the government authorities, and hence he had no money to pay the money he had loaned from the banks.
The bench also asked Mallya whether he had honestly disclosed his assets before the court, ANI reported. In the last hearing on March 3, the banks had claimed that Mallya had not revealed that he had received $40 million from Diageo in the form of sale proceedings, ANI reported.
The Supreme Court asked the Centre if there were any measures under the criminal law to bring back Mallya from London. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said the Centre was looking into it and would take steps accordingly.
Mallya is embroiled in a number of cases in India. In November 2016, he was declared an absconder by a special court that deals with cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The same month, India had asked the UK, where Mallya is believed to be residing since March 2016, to extradite the industrialist under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty as he owes around Rs 9,000 crore to 17 banks in India. On January 31, a special CBI court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Mallya.