Beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya has once again offered to repay banks 100 per cent of the principal amount owed to them. The fresh appeal to banks came after the conclusion of a three-day British High Court appeal against an extradition order to India.
Speaking to media outside the Royal Court of Justice on February 13, Mallya said, “I request banks with folded hands, take 100 per cent of your principal back, immediately.”
Defending himself, 64-year-old Mallya also said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached his assets on complaints lodged by a consortium of banks regarding non-payment on dues. He, however, denied committing offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) Act.
He said, “Enforcement Directorate attached the assets on the complaint by the banks that I was not paying them. I have not committed any offences under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) that the Enforcement Directorate should suo moto attach my assets.”
Mallya, who is wanted in India for defrauding a consortium of banks to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, was present all through the three-day hearing, which was heard by a two-bench counsel of Lord Justice Stephen Irwin and Justice Elisabeth Laing.
The appeal against the extradition order hinged on whether there is a prima case of fraud and deception against Mallya. But his lawyer insisted that Kingfisher was a “business failure” while the prosecution argued that his intentions were not to honour the loan.
Mark Summers, who is leading the case for the Indian government from The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said, “Mr. Mallya always intended to never honour his personal guarantee.”
“We submit that he lied to get the loans, and then did something with the money he wasn’t supposed to and then refused to give back the money. All this could be perceived by a jury as patently dishonest conduct,” Summers added.
During the three-day hearing, Mallya kept providing suggestions and details to his legal team. While speaking to India Today TV, he said, “I am saying, please banks take your money.”
Mallya also slammed the ED and CBI for being unreasonable and said, “If the CBI and the ED are going to be reasonable, it’s a different story. What all they are doing to me for the last four years is totally unreasonable.”
A team of ED, CBI and the Indian High Commission were also present during the three-day hearing to take notes.
The bench comprising Lord Justice Stephen Irwin and Justice Elisabeth Laing is expected to give a verdict in the case after a few weeks.
Vijay Mallya remains on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April 2017 involving a bond worth 650,000 pounds and other restrictions on his travel while he contests that ruling.