Indian banks are working closely with authorities in the United Kingdom and have already recovered about Rs 963 crore by auctioning Vijay Mallya’s assets in India, State Bank of India Managing Director Arijit Basu said on Friday.
His statement came days after a court in the United Kingdom allowed a consortium of 13 Indian banks to undertake searches and seizure of goods at Vijay Mallya’s houses in London. The banks are seeking to recover over Rs 10,000 crore from the fugitive liquor baron.
Mallya is accused of wilfully defaulting on about $1.4 billion (Rs 9,380 crore) in loans for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
“We are very happy with the court order and with this kind of order we should be able to go after this assets,” Basu told reporters in New Delhi, PTI reported. He added that the banks were hoping to recover a “significant part of our money”.
The UK court’s order said the court’s enforcement officer may enter Mallya’s residences in Tewin and Hertfordshire, called ‘Ladywalk’ and ‘Bramble Lodge’, to “search for and take control of goods belonging to the First Defendant [Mallya]”. It added that the enforcement officer can use “reasonable force to enter the property if necessary”.
The banks’ lawyers said the June 26 order by the business and property court of England’s High Court of Justice “grants permission, but is not an instruction to act”.