NEW DELHI: Beleagured businessman Vijay Mallya, who is facing legal proceedings for alleged loan defaults by his group to the tune of over Rs 9,000 crore, today said he is not an absconder and he will comply with the law of the land.
"I am an international businessman. I travel to and from India frequently. I did not flee from India and neither am I an absconder. Rubbish," Mallya tweeted earlier this morning from an undisclosed location.
He further said: "As an Indian MP I fully respect and will comply with the law of the land. Our judicial system is sound and respected. But no trial by media." He also sought to shift the blame to the media, saying: " Once a media witch hunt starts it escalates into a raging fire where truth and facts are burnt to ashes. Let media bosses not forget help, favours, accommodation that I have provided over several years which are documented. Now lies to gain TRP?."
Mallya also questioned news reports that he must declare his assets. "Does that mean that Banks did not know my assets or look at my Parliamentary disclosures?," he added.
The 60-year-old liquor baron, who is facing legal proceedings for alleged loan defaults of Rs 9,000 crore by his group, left the country on March 2, even as banks have approached the courts to seek orders restraining him from going abroad.
While he remained silent on his whereabouts, reports said the UB Group chairman and Rajya Sabha member is believed to be at his country home in an English village about an hour's drive north of London. Opposition leaders including Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi have raised questions about how he was allowed to leave the country despite a 'lookout' notice by CBI.
On Wednesday, the government told the Supreme Court that Mallya had left India on March 2 following which the bench issued notice to him and sought his response within two weeks on pleas filed by a consortium of banks seeking direction for freezing his passport and his presence before the apex court.