Hyderabad: Amid a multi-agency clampdown on beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya to recover unpaid loans and other dues, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Wednesday said "law will take its own course" in this matter.
He, however, rejected suggestions to draw parallels between the defunct private carrier Kingfisher and state-run Air India over their huge losses and debt burdens.
"I don't think in Air India somebody cheated somebody. Air India has definitely debt. There is no doubt about it. Nobody is hiding it. The debt of Air India did not crop up today or last two or three years.
"It has been there for quite some time," Raju said when asked about the parallels drawn between Air India and Kingfisher, in a press conference at Aviation India-2016.
Amidst a row over Mallya leaving India in the middle of a massive loan default probe, former top official of Infosys T V Mohandas Pai had last week sought to know why questions are not being raised about the massive losses of Air India, and called for a system for recovery or settlement of loans.
Replying to a question, Raju said a question was asked in Parliament recently on the dues of Kingfisher to Airports Authority of India and the petroleum companies.
"Kingfisher had some dues with AAI and with the petroleum companies. With regard to AAI, three things have happened. Recovery suit was filed in Mumbai High Court in 2014 and two cheque bounce cases are there. Law will take its own course,” the minister said.
When asked about the plan of action of the Government on Vijay Mallya, Raju said he is an Indian citizen "presumably" and as far as the AAI is concerned, the recovery suit is going on.
"There are two cheque bounce cases on him (Mallya) also. According to Indian law, it is a criminal activity," the Minister added.