From Poster Boy of Indian Entrepreneurship to that of Bank Defaults, Vijay Mallya Pleads Not Guilty
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He was noted as one of India’s biggest entrepreneurs, the true story of success, until it all came crashing down. Vijay Mallya, the King of Good Times, didn’t just have a bad time but the worst of it all.
Mallya was not a billionaire away from the public eye. Be it the popular Kingfisher beer, the Kingfisher calendar or the IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mallya’s businesses and interests were always the one to stand out in the crowd. So, it came as no wonder that the man who once had the envy of all for his lavish lifestyle, stood at the corner of ridicule and anger when his financial scams broke out.
With a financial scandal where a loan of INR 5,500 crores went wrong, Mallya left the country in 2016 stating he needed to be closer to his family. Ever since then, he has been at the centre of the media and public scrutiny for having fled from the country while the banks started their pursuit to get the money back, rightfully. Currently, a total of 17 Indian banks are trying to get INR 9,000 crores from the ex-chairman of United Spirits.
Today, two years down the lane, Mallya decided to speak up. On a statement he released on Twitter, Mallya speaks about the relentless pursuit by the government, banks and media to make him the “poster boy of bank default” and the “lightning rod of public anger”.
Putting it in the Right Perspective
With scores of media reports and statements issued by banks about Mallya, today he decided to take to Twitter and put things in the right perspective. He said that the 17 banks led by State Bank of India lent KFA INR 5,500 crores. Mallya added that recoveries in excess of Rs. 600 crores have since been made through the sale of pledged assets and a further Rs. 1,280 crores has been lying deposited with the Hon'ble Karnataka High Court since 2013 (aggregating to in excess of Rs. 1,880 crores).
He said that while there have been allegations of wilful default against him, he had made two settlement offers to the Banks, both of which were rejected
Talking about the unfortunate circumstances which led to the downfall of Kingfisher Airlines and then the CBI chargesheet against him, he also spoke about the sale of his assets to recover the loans. “The surprising fact is that the ED have objected in Court to my Group's applications for sale of assets in order to allow me to repay creditors, including Public Sector banks,” he said.
Mallya, who is wanted in India for loan defaults, has been residing in the UK since 2016. While every other week, a news report about him came out referring to his case and his denial to work on it, Mallya today woke up to admonish all of it. Earlier too Mallya had said that he is not a borrower or judgement defaulter(exactly in his own words).
He has even shared a letter that was directed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016, to which he says he got no response.
However, Mallya who says he has been silent for far too long now is now ready to work his way back with the banks and clear his dues. In his statement, Mallya said, “I respectfully submit that this is a clear example of politically motivated abuse of power with no legal basis whatsoever and behoves the fundamental question of whether the Government wants me to repay the Public Sector Banks or not.”
Strong public sentiment against him
There is a strong anger even in the NRI community against him and it has become difficult for him to come out in public. People are trolling him on social media .What he says does not make much sense because Subrata Roy Sahara whose defaults were backed by real estate and can be considered less problematic than Mallya’s was put behind bars and is still struggling.