Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Before expulsion, Mallya quits Rajya Sabha

Narada Desk | May 2, 2016 6:32 pm Print
Kingfisher Airlines chairman Vijaya Mallya who owes Indian banks $1.4 billion resigns Rajya Sabha, two months before his term ends

Beleaguered liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya is reported to have resigned from the Rajya Sabha on Monday. The Ethics Committee of  Rajya Sabha, last week recommended the expulsion of the lawmaker.  The panel was to meet on Tuesday  to take a final decision on his membership in the House.

Despite notices,Mallya had made it clear that he has no plans to return home from the UK to face banks to whom his defunct Kingfisher Airlines owes over a billion dollars.

The resignation comes less than two months before Mallya’s second term as Rajya Sabha ends on 30 June. Mallya was first elected as an independent member to the Upper House of the parliament from his home state Karnatakain 2002.

The 60 year old, once known as the “King of Good Times” for his extravagant life style had flown from New Delhi to London on 2 March. He is said to be living in a plush countryside residence in Herfortshire.

Following his refusal to heed to notices  to return, India has requested the UK to deport him. The request was made after his diplomatic passport was revoked.

In an interview to Financial Times Vijay Mallya said by arresting him or revoking his passport the banks are not getting any of the $ 1.4 billion he owes the public sector banks. He said he is ready to negotiate with banks. Last week Supreme Court shared the assets of Mallya’s overseas assets with the banks.

“We have always been in dialogue with banks saying: ‘We wish to settle’. But we wish to settle at a reasonable number that we can afford and banks can justify on the basis of settlements done before,” Mallya said in an interview to a newspaper last week.

A Mumbai court had issued an arrest warrant for money-laundering charges. The Enforcement Directorate, the agency tasked to fight financial crime has accused Mallya of  diverting $64.5 million of the money the banks loaned to Kingfisher Airlines to invest in real estate overseas.  He is reported to have bought the mansion from the father of Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton for 11,500 pounds.  Mallya however has denied any wrongdoing.