The State Bank of India and other banks on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court with a plea to prevent former liquor baron Vijay Mallya from leaving the country.
The SBI leads a consortium of 17 lenders to the grounded Kingfisher Airlines, which has defaulted on loans worth over Rs 7,000 crore.
The apex court agreed to give urgent hearing to the banks’ plea and has listed it for Wednesday after attorney general said it would be difficult to catch Mallya, an NRI, if he leaves country.
Mallya, who recently clinched an exit deal worth Rs 515 crore with Diageo, had indicated that he was likely to relocate to the UK.
On Monday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a case of money laundering against Mallya and later in the day a Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) said the liquor baron can’t access the Rs 515 crore he got from the recent sale of his spirits business to Diageo, until a loan default case with the State Bank of India is settled.
In what was called a ‘sweetheart deal’, Mallya sold his business to Diageo last month. The SBI had asked for the DRT’s intervention in seeking the lenders’ first right to the Rs 515 crore payout from Diageo to Mallya. The DRT took up the request on a priority bsis.
State Bank of India had approached the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) seeking arrest of Vijay Mallya in a bid to recover loans to Kingfisher Airlines, which was promoted by the liquor baron.
SBI also wanted his passport impounded and a complete disclosure of his personal assets.