Stop Vijay Mallya from leaving India, banks ask Supreme Court

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya should not be allowed to leave India, a consortium of public sector banks said in a petition to the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The court is expected to take up the petition tomorrow.

Vijay Mallya-promoted Kingfisher Airlines, which stopped flying more than three years ago, had $1.4 billion or Rs 9,400 crore in debts as of September 2013, according to corporate filings from the time.

The liquor baron had earlier said that he wants to move to Britain to be closer to his children following his resignation as chairman of United Spirits.

A debt recovery tribunal had on Monday halted a $75 million settlement to be paid by spirits giant Diageo to liquor baron Vijay Mallya, after he resigned as chairman of Diageo unit United Spirits.

The court – the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) – ruled in favour of a group of creditor banks, owed money by Mallya’s now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, and who had argued they had the “first right” to the Rs 515 crore exit payment from Diageo.

Mallya said in a statement on Sunday that he is in talks with a group of 17 banks for a one-time settlement of Kingfisher’s debt, adding that he has no plans to run away from his creditors.

A money-laundering case was also filed against Mallya by the Enforcement Directorate on Monday for allegedly sending abroad Rs 900 crore that he borrowed from a bank.

The tribunal’s decision is based on a petition by the State Bank of India or SBI, which is owed Rs 1,600 crore by Kingfisher.

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