Businessman Vijay Mallya on Tuesday said he “has made and will continue to make every effort to settle with public sector banks” he owes money to. The businessman said he was tired of the government’s “relentless pursuit” of him, and claimed that the charges against him were “untenable and blatantly false allegations”.
He alleged that the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate were acting at the behest of the government and the banks. “All my efforts are either ignored or misunderstood,” Mallya said. “I have become the ‘poster boy’ of bank default and a lightning rod of public anger.”
Mallya said he could not do anything if “politically motivated extraneous factors” hamper his efforts to reach an agreement with the banks.
The businessman, who is facing extradition proceedings in the United Kingdom, said he had sought the permission of courts to allow him to sell his assets under judicial supervision so that he could repay lenders. “Recovery of loans is a civil matter which has been criminalised in my case,” he added.
Mallya claimed he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in 2016, but had not received any reply. He said his “conduct does not amount to wilful default” as the banks have alleged.
On Friday, the Enforcement Directorate moved a Mumbai court against Mallya, seeking to declare him a “fugitive offender” under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance. The agency also sought the court’s permission to immediately confiscate about Rs 12,500 crore worth of assets – both movable and immovable – belonging to Mallya and his companies.
The agency filed its first chargesheet against Mallya in June 2017 in the Rs 900-crore IDBI Bank-Kingfisher Airlines loan-default case.