Vijay Mallya’s Rs 14,518.02 crore settlement offer has once again been pushed away by SBI-led consortium of banks. The consortium argued that United Breweries Holdings Limited (UBHL) proposal is neither bona fide nor genuine. In July, when the beleaguered businessman had made a similar offer, the banks had described it as dead in water.
Barrister Marcia Shekerdemian, the banks legal representative, argued that they did not have any security over his assets and that they were also in a battle with the Enforcement Directorate over access to the assets. In regards to the latest proposal, SBI told the Supreme Court that in a malicious attempt to inflate the valuation, the Mallya company has included the assets which have been already sold by the banks and duly accounted for, therefore, the calculation is misleading and exaggerated. It pointed out that by showing the sold assets as belonging to Mallya, the liabilities of Rs 12,102 crore of UBHL are far in excess of its Rs 4,968. SBI clarified that total dues payable by UBHL as on date exceeds Rs 15,000 crore.
Moreover, while offering to settle Rs 14,518 crore liabilities with the consortium and others, UBHL had said that the offer has to be seen in the context of the banks having already recovered Rs 2,877.55 crore till date. The balance that is now due stands at Rs 5,958.97 crore, given that all the assets of UBHL was attached with the ED in June and September 2016.
The liquor baron’s case is being heard in the United Kingdom. He was associated with the now defunt Kingfisher airlines and is the ex-chairman of United Spirits, and currently, continues to serve as chairman of UBHL. Mallya owes 17 banks an estimated Rs 9,000 crore. He is accused of fraud, money laundering and for fleeing the country in 2016. The former Rajya Sabha member offered to make good on his debts which has been rejected time and again. Mallya fled India for the UK in March 2016 when the banks moved the Debt Recovery Tribunal against him. Three years later, in 2019, the former billionaire was declared a fugitive economic offender under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act. In February 2019, the UK Home Secretary approved his extradition order, which is still pending before the court.