In a desperate last-ditch gambit to avoid possible extradition, fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya has made an offer to pay back the principal amount he owes to several Indian banks in its entirety.
A UK court is set to deliver its verdict on 10 December over whether Mallya can be extradited to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crores.
In a series of tweets yesterday, the liquor baron, among other things, claimed that the large loans he took from banks were used in keeping his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines afloat in the face of high jet fuel prices.
Mallya tweeted that, “Airlines struggling financially partly because of high ATF prices. Kingfisher was a fab airline that faced the highest ever crude prices of $140 per barrel. Losses mounted and that's where Banks money went. I have offered to repay 100 per cent of the Principal amount to them. Please take it".
In another tweet, he pointed out that United Breweries Group contributed thousands of crores to public coffers for three decades.
Mallya, however, rejected the notion that there was any link between his proposed settlement offer, the upcoming court verdict on his extradition and that of Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper deal, who was brought back to India on Tuesday (4 December).
Vijay Mallya availed huge loans from various banks. He fled India in March 2016 after a consortium of banks initiated legal proceedings to recover dues of over 9,000 crores. India formally sought extradition in February 2017.
Residing in the UK for the past two years, he has been resisting India's attempts to bring him back to face trial.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.