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Mallya’s private Airbus jet must be sold as scrap: Mumbai airport tells court

Former liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s Airbus A319, which remains parked at the city airport, “has turned into nothing better than scrap” and it must hence be “sold off in scrap”, the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) told the Bombay high court on Tuesday.

india Updated: Dec 21, 2016 00:26 IST
Ayesha Arvind, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Vijay Mallya,Mallya's private plane,Kingfisher Airlines
Vijay Mallya's private jet, a customised Airbus A319, parked at a Mumbai Airport .(Pramod Thakur/ HT File Photo )

Former liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s Airbus A319, which remains parked at the city airport, “has turned into nothing better than scrap” and it must hence be “sold off in scrap”, the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) told the Bombay high court on Tuesday.

The Mumbai airport operator urged the high court not to grant any additional time to the service tax department to look for a new buyer for the aircraft, and said that instead, CJ Leasings, the company that had leased the plane to Mallya, should be asked if it was willing to buy it back as scrap.

The court was hearing a plea filed by the department seeking to recall the e-auction of the aircraft, claiming that the proceeds of the auction were low and the highest bid was only for 81.8% of the reserve price.

MIAL also said the airport has been “facing a space crunch issue and the airbus was obstructing its operations.”

“Besides,” MIAL said, “the Airbus was seized by the department in December 2013. Three attempts by the department to sell it off have failed. It is no longer in a condition to fly. Its engines need to be serviced immediately and to get it into working condition much money will need to be spent...”

The department, however, argued that while it was willing to carry out a revaluation, as per its estimates, the aircraft should be valued around $12 million.

The bench has now directed the department to get “a realistic revaluation of the aircraft done by credible experts, and submit a report by January 19 next year.”

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