Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Banks petition Supreme Court to stop Vijay Mallya from leaving India

The SBI and other banks on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court with a plea to prevent Vijay Mallya from leaving the country.

The SBI leads a consortium of 17 lenders to the grounded Kingfisher Airlines, which has defaulted on loans worth over Rs 7,000 crore.

The top court agreed to give urgent hearing to the banks' plea and has listed it for Wednesday after attorney general said it would be difficult to catch Mallya, an NRI, if he leaves country.

"List it for hearing tomorrow," a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice U U Lalit said, when attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for PSU banks, mentioned the matter for urgent hearing.

Mallya, who recently clinched an exit deal worth Rs 515 crore with Diageo, had indicated that he was likely to relocate to the UK.

On Monday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a case of money laundering against Mallya and later in the day a Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) said the liquor baron can't access the Rs 515 crore he got from the recent sale of his spirits business to Diageo, until a loan default case with the State Bank of India is settled.

In what was called a 'sweetheart deal', Mallya sold his business to Diageo last month. The SBI had asked for the DRT's intervention in seeking the lenders' first right to the Rs 515 crore payout from Diageo to Mallya. The DRT took up the request on a priority bsis.

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