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‘Ready to pay back 100%’: Mallya wonders why his offer not being accepted

Mallya is facing extradition from the United Kingdom to India to face charges of financial irregularities running into thousands of crores. Judgement in the high-profile case is due in the Westminster magistrates court on Monday.

world Updated: Dec 05, 2018 22:31 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Vijay Mallya,extradition,loan repayment
Liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya at the Westminster Magistrates Court in London where his extradition case is being heard. Mallya, the United Breweries Group chairman and co-owner of the Force India F1 team is wanted in India to face fraud allegations.(AP/PTI (File Photo)(AP)

Insisting that he is not a ‘defaulter’, liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Wednesday repeated his claim that he is ready to repay “100 per cent” of the money owed to Indian banks, but wondered why his offer made since 2016 has been refused.

Mallya is facing extradition from the United Kingdom to India to face charges of financial irregularities running into thousands of crores. Judgement in the high-profile case is due in the Westminster magistrates court on Monday.

He tweeted: “I see the quick media narrative about my extradition decision. That is separate and will take its own legal course. The most important point is public money and I am offering to pay 100% back. I humbly request the Banks and Government to take it. If payback refused, WHY?”

Watch: Mallya offers to repay banks, Kingfisher Airlines ex-employees dissatisfied

Mallya’s tweets on the issue are a reprise of his June 26 media statement, in which he said he was tired of “relentless pursuit”, and that his efforts to settle the loans were either ignored or misunderstood. He has reportedly submitted a settlement offer in the Karnataka high court.

Reiterating his main defence that the inability to repay the loans earlier was a result of genuine business failure of his Kingfisher Airlines, rather than dishonesty, he posted: “Airlines struggling financially partly becoz of high ATF (aviation turbine fuel) prices”.

“Kingfisher was a fab airline that faced the highest ever crude prices of $140/barrel. Losses mounted and that’s where Banks money went. I have offered to repay 100% of the Principal amount to them. Please take it”.

“For three decades running India’s largest alcoholic beverage group, we contributed thousands of crores to the State exchequers. Kingfisher Airlines also contributed handsomely to the States. Sad loss of the finest Airline but still I offer to pay Banks so no loss. Please take it”, he said in the series of tweets.

Mallya went on: “Politicians and media are constantly talking loudly about my being a defaulter who has run away with PSU Bank money. All this is false. Why don’t I get far treatment and the same loud noise about my comprehensive settlement offer before the Karnataka high Court. Sad”.

The embattled tycoon, who has often declared to London-based journalists his willingness to settle with the banks, claimed in his June 26 statement that he had become “the ‘poster boy’ of bank default and a lightning rod of public anger”.

Mallya fled India in March 2016 even as a debt court in Bengaluru was set to act against him for defaulting on loans issued by several banks led by the state-owned State Bank of India. The 62-year-old is fighting an effort to get him extradited to India on charges of fraud and money laundering.

Besides the extradition case, Mallya is also facing recovery action against his assets in the UK brought by 13 Indian banks and another mortgage recovery action by the UBS bank against his house in central London.

First Published: Dec 05, 2018 17:00 IST