NEW DELHI A group of banks asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to restrain the founder of Kingfisher Airlines, liquor baron Vijay Mallya, from leaving the country because of the hefty debt the now defunct company owes, two lawyers said.
The creditors, led by the State Bank of India, have stepped up efforts to recover the debt - $1 billion as of end-January 2014 - after Mallya last month resigned as chairman of spirits maker United Spirits, a unit of Diageo Plc.
Mallya also said he would spend more time in England to be closer to his children.
On Monday, a court blocked a $75 million settlement Mallya agreed with Diageo Plc at the request of the banks.
Kingfisher, once India's second-biggest airline, stopped flying more than three years ago.
The airline owed 69.63 billion rupees ($1.03 billion) to more than a dozen banks, mostly Indian state-run, as on Jan. 31, 2014, according to SBICAP Trustee Co. Ltd, the security trustee for the lenders. The amount does not include interest from February 2014 and other expenses and costs due to Kingfisher.
Mallya said on Sunday he had no plans to run away from his creditors and was in talks over a one-time settlement to resolve Kingfisher's debt.
($1 = 67.2900 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Suchitra Mohanty; Writing by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Miral Fahmy)
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