Mallya raises white flag on Twitter, says ready to talk to banks for one-time settlement

Vijay Mallya today tweeted he is ready to negotiate with banks to pay a one-time settlement charge on the Rs 9,000-crore loan he had defaulted on.

Taking a page out of US President Donald Trump’s book, Mallya opened a dialogue with Indian officials via the micro-blogging website. In a series of earlier tweets in late January, Mallya had complained of a "witch hunt" against him.

"Public sector banks have policies for one-time settlements. Hundreds of borrowers have settled. Why should this be denied to us? Our substantial offer before the honourable Supreme Court was rejected by banks without consideration. (I) am ready to talk settlement on fair basis," Mallya said in a tweet.

He further said: "Wish the Supreme Court would intervene and put an end to all this by directing banks and us to negotiate and settle. We are ready."

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of India had fast-tracked the proceedings against the absconding industrialist and reserved its order on contempt proceeding against him for allegedly diverting US$40 million to his children's account in foreign banks in violation of a court order.

A bench of Justice A K Goel and U U Lalit reserved its order on whether Mallya was guilty of contempt or not and what further action should be taken to bring back the money.

The Supreme Court of India has fast-tracked the case against Mallya.
The Supreme Court of India has fast-tracked the case against Mallya. Photo courtesy: Royal Challengers Bangalore

A year ago, the apex court had started proceeding against Mallya and had issued notice to him on a plea filed by a consortium of banks led by SBI for recovery of about INR 9,000 crore which Mallya and his companies owed to them. He, however, managed to flee the country days before SC took up the case against him.

On February 9, India had handed over a formal request to the UK for the extradition of Vijay Mallya to be sent to India to face trial here. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, "We have handed over the request for extradition of Mr. Vijay Vittal Mallya, as received from CBI, to the UK High Commission in New Delhi. We have requested the UK side to extradite him to face trial in India."