July 31, 2018
London:Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is facing money laundering charges in multi-crore fraud case, on Tuesday said he has not applied for any clemency plea in India’s Karnataka High Court and is ready to settle dues.
Mallya’s assertion came after he came out of the Westminster court in London which he visited, along with his son Siddharth, to attend proceedings on his extradition trial.
“I have not applied for any clemency plea or a plea bargain in my unconditional offer to the Karnataka High Court. I am ready to settle my dues… There are no further requests at all,” Mallya said interacting with the media outside the court.
The beleaguered businessman denied the money laundering charges against him, terming them “completely false”.
“Allegations of money laundering and stealing money are completely false… At the end of the day, the courts will decide. The full amount is also to be determined.
“You can’t have a situation where assets are attached based on complaints by the banks… And yet, the interest metre is rising everyday. It’s an inequitable situation. So, let the judiciary decide what is right,” Mallya said.
On the issue of extradition, he said: “As far as extradition case is concerned, I think you all have heard it. That is now for the next hearing on September 12. And I look forward to it.”
He further said any litigation is exhausting, because the time spent on litigation can be used for more productive things.
Asked why he suddenly decided to settled in London, Mallya said: “I have been trying to settle here since 2015.”
The 62-year-old liquor baron, who fled the country on March 2, 2016, has been living in London ever since despite summons from Indian courts and law enforcement agencies to appear before them for trial in various related cases.
In a statement on June 26, Mallya had said that he had petitioned the Karnataka High Court to permit him and his holding firm United Breweries Holding Ltd (UBHL) to sell their assets under its supervision to repay creditors, including state-run banks.
“UBHL and myself have filed an application before the Karnataka High Court on June 22, setting out available assets of about Rs 13,900 crore,” said Mallya from London in a statement released by his office in Karnataka.
Asserting that recovery of loans is a civil matter but it had been made a criminal matter in his case, Mallya had blamed the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate for criminalising it despite his intentions to settle the bank dues.
A consortium of 17 banks, led by the State Bank of India (SBI), gave Rs 5,500-crore loans to Mallya’s now defunct Kingfisher Airlines for over a decade.
Claiming that the bulk of the dues were on account of interest, Mallya said owing to injunctions, attachments and refusal to grant permission to sell the assets, this had kept mounting.(IANS)