BANGALORE: Public sector lender State Bank of India is reportedly exploring options to declare liquor baron Vijay Mallya as a ‘willful defaulter’.
The news coming days after the bank turned away the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) who are investigating a case of ‘fraud’ by the now grounded carrier Kingfisher Airlines (KfA). The bank said that there was no fraud but only that the case of business going bad.
KfA was grounded in October 2012 after mounting dues and protests by unpaid employees. The Mallya-run airline has debts of over Rs 7,000 crore and SBI has the largest exposure of around Rs 1,600 crore to the defunct carrier.
“We are looking at various ways to declare Vijay Mallya a wilful defaulter and trying build a strong case in that regard,” agencies quoted an SBI official without naming them.
Unsecured creditors, banks, airport and tax authorities and unpaid employees have filed various winding up petitions in courts to recover their dues from KfA. Reportedly KfA had diverted funds that Mallya had taken from the bank and not paying its dues despite having the ability to pay. “If we are sure on these two points, then the bank will declare Mallya a wilful defaulter,” agencies quoted the SBI source.