NEW DELHI A group of Indian banks has rejected an offer by embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya to repay part of the $1.4 billion loans his defunct Kingfisher airline owes them, a lawyer for the lenders told the Supreme Court on Thursday.
Last week, Mallya, who had guaranteed the Kingfisher loans, proposed to pay 40 billion rupees ($602 million) to the lenders by September, and 20 billion rupees more if Kingfisher wins a lawsuit seeking damages from plane engine-maker International Aero Engines.
Shyam Divan, a lawyer representing the banks, told the Supreme Court that Mallya had made the lenders a revised offer on Wednesday but that this was still not acceptable to them. He did not give details of the revised offer, but said the banks would need a "substantial amount" to be deposited for a dialogue to begin.
A spokesman for UB Group, a company owned by Mallya, declined to comment immediately.
Mallya, once called the "King of Good Times" for his extravagant lifestyle, left India on March 2 as the creditor banks stepped up pressure on him. His whereabouts since then has not been disclosed, although he has been active on his Twitter social media account, which has more than 5 million followers.
The banks, led by State Bank of India, have also demanded that Mallya be personally present at the next hearing of the case at the Supreme Court.
The court has sought a response from Mallya by April 21 to the banks' demands, setting the next hearing date for April 26.
($1 = 66.4650 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Suchitra Mohanty; Writing by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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Updated Date: Apr 08, 2016 00:00 AM