NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has thrown his weight behind the public sector banks which are petitioning the Supreme Court to restrain Vijay Mallya from going abroad.
"I think it's not only a legal but a moral obligation that every banking institution in India has to recover the last pie (from borrowers)," the finance minister said.
The government cannot accept a "situation where 15 or 20 people sit on so much money of the banks, that the ability of the banks to lend to thousands of others" gets severely impacted, he said.
"Whatever steps the banks will take in this matter, the government of India will stand behind them and actively encourage them to protect their own interest, which is also the larger public interest. After all, I am taxing the people of India to put money into the capital of the banks," he said to a TV channel.
The Supreme Court will hear a petition by 13 banks, to which Mallya's firms owe Rs 9,000 crore, seeking a direction to restrain him from leaving India.
The Debt Recovery Tribunal on Monday barred Mallya from accessing the USD 75 million (Rs 515 crore) severance payment from Diageo till the loan default case with SBI is settled while the Enforcement Directorate registered a money laundering case against the liquor baron in another default case.