New Delhi, Dt.29 (PTI) – “By taking my passport or arresting me, they are not getting any money”; “We wish to settle; but we wish to settle at a reasonable number that we can afford and banks can justify on the basis of settlements done before.” – so says ‘Willful Defaulter’ Vijay Mallya. He has also alleged that he has been forced into exile.
Mallya, said to be residing in London, was interviewed by the Financial Times of Britain. Thus, it is now clear that Mallya lives in London. Mallya, who owes Rs.9,000 crore to banks, has had his diplomatic passport revoked and the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay has issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him, pursuant to which the Indian government is in discussion with the British authorities on the modalities for having Mallya deported to India. It is against this backdrop, and in order to reply back to the various allegations and accusations made against him in the social media that, for the first time in the last two months, Mallya gave an interview in person.
According to Financial Times, the interview with Mallya was conducted in the Mayfair, Central London, and went on for four hours. Mallya had left India on the 2nd of March. Thereafter, there were reports that Mallya has since been residing in his Rs.100 crore luxurious estate spread over 30 acres. But it is for the first time that Mallya has confirmed that he is staying in London.
In his interview, Mallya has said that although he is presently staying in London he would love to return back to India, but that he had no plans of leaving London anytime soon. “My passport has been revoked. Mallya alleged that due to the present circumstances he was being forced to stay outside the country.
Mallya also stated in his interview that banks would not get any money by having his passport revoked or by having him arrested. He also said that a mutually acceptable proposal for settlement should be put forth. Mallya also refuted allegations that the loans given to Kingfisher Airlines had been diverted for acquiring properties abroad.
In the meanwhile, India’s High Commissioner in Britain has written a letter to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, asking for the deportation of Mallya to India. Prior to this, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), had written a letter to the Ministry of External Affairs and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), asking them to seek the help of Interpol for issuing a ‘red corner alert’ against Mallya. All efforts are being made to initiate proceedings in order to tighten the noose around Mallya.