Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is facing legal proceedings for allegedly defaulting loans of over Rs 9,000 crores from various banks, has told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that he is willing to pay up Rs 4,000 crore to the lenders by September 2016.
The apex court bench of Justice Kurien Joseph and Rohington F Nariman was also told that Mallya has offered another Rs 2,000 crore that he expects to get, if he succeeds in his suit against multinational General Electric.
The bargain invariably is a bad one for the banks, which gave loan after loan to keep his dying Kingfisher Airlines afloat. It is to be noted that Mallya still has a net worth of over Rs 7,000 crore and many assets abroad.
The court, however, has told the banks to respond to Mallya's proposal within a week's time.
The court was hearing a plea by the banks that sought detention of Mallya. The next hearing of the case in on 7 April.
A report in The Times of India said that Mallya also accused media of running a campaign against him, to which the court said the media is merely doing its job.
The repayment proposal was submitted before the court through his counsel C S Vaidyanathan.
Earlier on Wednesday Mallya had in a series of tweets urged the media and larger public to spare his son from the "hatred".
My son Sid does not deserve all this hatred and abuse. He has had nothing to do with my business. Shower abuse on me if you must but not him
My son Sid @sidmallya does not deserve all this abuse as he had nothing to do with my business. Slam me if you must but not a young man.
— Vijay Mallya (@TheVijayMallya) March 29, 2016
The banks had petitioned the court on 8 March by which time he had already left the country. During the hearing on 9 March, Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi had informed the court that he has left the country on 2 March.
Ever since the news broke pressure has been building up on the industrialist who has been declared wilful defaulter by three banks. What made matters worse was the revelation that the CBI had actually amended its look out notice that could have helped him fly out of the country.
As opposition and public resentment grew over the callousness of the system that allowed Mallya fly out of the country, finance minister Arun Jaitley had recently issued a stern warning that he should settle his dues honourably or else face "coercive action".
"I don't want to make any comments on individual cases but I think it's a responsibility of large groups like his (Vijay Mallya's) to honourably settle their dues with the banks," he had told PTI in an interview.
He further said that banks have certain collaterals of group companies of Vijay Mallya and will take legal action to recover dues that are in excess of Rs 9,000 crore.
"Banks have some securities. Banks plus other agencies have also coercive methods available with them through legal enforcement...these are all being investigated by relevant agencies," he said.
Mallya, promoter of long-grounded Kingfisher Airlines, had left India on March 2, presumably for 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.
On the repayment proposal by Mallya, the SBI, however, told the court that it needed a week's time to consider the proposal made by liquor baron, and submitted that way back in 2013 the bank had filed a suit claiming Rs.6,903 crore plus interest thereon.
In a query from the bank about Mallya's location, his counsel told the court that he was still abroad but had two video conferencing sessions with the bank officials after his departure from India to London.
Other banks that have exposure to the airline include Punjab National Bank and IDBI Bank (Rs. 800 crore each), Bank of India (Rs. 650 crore), Bank of Baroda (Rs. 550 crore), Central Bank of India (Rs. 410 crore).
UCO Bank has to recover Rs. 320 crore, Corporation Bank (Rs. 310 crore), State Bank of Mysore, (Rs. 150 crore), Indian Overseas Bank (Rs. 140 crore), Federal Bank (Rs. 90 crore), Punjab & Sind Bank (Rs. 60 crore) and Axis Bank (Rs. 50 crore).
With inputs from agencies