With United Spirits asking its own chairman Vijay Mallya to quit, the majority owner Diageo today said its

MUMBAI (TIP): Top state-run lender SBI on Wednesday sought to arrest Vijay Mallya, and also impound his passport, as the bank approached the Debt Recovery Tribunal seeking action against the UB Group promoter for defaulting on loans.

The State Bank of India (SBI), which heads the consortium of 17 lenders to the grounded Kingfisher Airlines, moved the Debt Recovery Tribunal in Bengaluru against the airline’s chairman Mallya in its bid to recover over Rs 7,000-crore dud loans from him.

According to sources, SBI has moved four applications at the DRT, seeking impounding Mallya’s passport, getting him arrested, securing the lenders’ first right on the payout from Diageo and getting full disclosure of his assets in the country and abroad.

The immediate objective of the lenders moving the DRT is to secure a first right on the US$75-million severance package that Mallya will be getting for quitting Diageo-owned United Spirits (USL) as its chairman last week. An SBI official confirmed to PTI that they have moved the DRT seeking a right on the severance package, as the borrower Mallya, who has already been declared by the bank a wilful defaulter, has decided to leave the country and settle down in London.

Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines owed Rs 7,800 crore to a consortium of 17 lenders led by State Bank, which had an exposure of over Rs 1,600 crore to the now defunct airline. Since January 2012, the loan was not serviced.

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Other lenders include Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Federal Bank, Uco Bank and Dena Bank among others. Last year, SBI declared Mallya a wilful defaulter. Last month, Punjab National Bank had also declared him, his group holding company United Breweries Holdings and the long-defunct Kingfisher Airlines as wilful defaulters.

As part of a deal, Diageo said it would pay US$40 million immediately to Mallya with the balance being payable in equal instalments over the next five years. It will also absolve Mallya of all liabilities over alleged financial lapses at the company founded by his family.

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