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I Have Become Poster Boy of Bank Default : Mallya

Throwing a victim card at the Government, fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is being pursued by Indian authorities over unpaid loans tied to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, said on Tuesday he has become the ‘poster boy’ of bank default and a lightning rod for public anger. Mallya also denied the fact that that he was a wilful defaulter in which controversy shrouded him in the over Rs 9,000-crore Kingfisher Airlines loan default case. “There’s nothing I could do ‘if politically motivated extraneous factors interfere’ with my efforts to settle the dues,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mallya also has sought the Karnataka High Court’s permission to let him and his holding firm UBHL sell their assets under judicial supervision and repay creditors, including state-run banks. “United Breweries Holding Ltd (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 in a letter released here on Tuesday as well.

Tired of relentless pursuit of him by the Government and its criminal agencies, Mallya said he had even written letters to both the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister on April 15, 2016 to explain his side of the story. “No response was received from either of them,” he said in a statement issued, seeking to state ‘factual position’ in response to the controversy surrounding him.

Mallya, who also made public the letters he had written to the PM and the Finance Minister, said he has been accused by politicians and the media alike of having stolen and running away with Rs 9,000 crore that was loaned to Kingfisher Airlines (KFA). “Some of the lending banks have also labelled me a wilful defaulter,” he added.

However, he also claimed that he made two settlement offers to the banks when proceedings were filed by them in the Supreme Court on March 29, 2016 and April 6, 2016 but both the offers were rejected by the banks. “I respectfully submit that my conduct does not amount to ‘wilful default’,” Mallya said.

Currently, undergoing an extradition trial in a UK court over fraud and money laundering charges by Indian authorities, the liquor baron said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) have filed charge sheets against him with various untenable and blatantly false allegations acting at the behest of the government and lending banks.

“The ED have also attached assets belonging to me, my group companies and companies owned and/or controlled by my family under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) currently valued at approximately Rs 13,900 crore,” he added.

Lamenting that all his efforts are either ignored or misunderstood, he said, “I am tired of this relentless pursuit of me by the government and its criminal agencies.”

Insisting that he had made and continue to make every effort, in good faith to settle with the public sector banks,” Mallya said, “If politically motivated extraneous factors interfere, there is nothing that I can do.”

The 62-year-old liquor baron, who fled the country in March 2016, has been living in London since then despite summons from Indian courts and law enforcement agencies to appear before them for trial in various cases.

I Have Become Poster Boy of Bank Default Mallya has been living in London since then despite summons from Indian courts and law enforcement agencies to appear before them for trial in various cases. For more information visit: http://www.dailypioneer.com/

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