Liquor baron Vijay Mallya had misled banks in India with regard to his company’s net worth, the prosecution alleged during a hearing in a London court on Monday. A court was hearing India’s request to extradite the beleaguered businessman, The Hindu reported.
Representatives of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation attended the hearing. A large crowd also gathered outside the Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Mark Summers, the advocate for the Crown Prosecution Service, said that the liquor baron had misled banks in India. Summers focused on two loan applications Mallya made to IDBI Bank – a five-year loan for Rs 950 crore made on October 1, 2009 and a six-month loan for Rs 150 Crore on October 7, 2009. In its applications, Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines told the bank that it would be profitable by 2011. “This was plain wrong,” Summers argued in court.
Summers also said that Kingfisher Airlines had told IDBI in 2009 that its net worth was Rs 1,395 crore. However, the prosecution’s lawyer claimed that no one had ever verified the company’s statement.
The magistrate observed that there were gaps in the Indian government’s submissions to the court, News18 reported. The government’s counsel said that documents had got “mixed up”.
Earlier, Mallya arrived at the court and requested the media to hear the proceedings of the case. “I have nothing to say, submissions in court will be self evident,” said Mallya, according to ANI.
The liquor baron last appeared at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court on November 20, reiterating that the allegations levelled against him by the Indian government were “baseless and fabricated”. He is currently out on bail, and his bail conditions will remain in place till the trial begins, the magistrate had said.
Mallya is wanted in India for a number of cases, including for defaulting on loans worth Rs 9,000 crore from 17 banks. The businessman, who has been in the UK since March 2016, had said he would not return to the country.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs had submitted an extradition request to the United Kingdom on February 9 after Mallya made his self-imposed exile clear. The request was made on the basis of an extradition treaty signed between the countries in 1992.