Liquor baron Mallya, under pressure from banks, leaves India | Reuters

NEW DELHI Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, under pressure from banks to repay more than $1 billion of debt owed by his collapsed airline, left the country last week, a lawyer for the lenders told the Supreme Court.

More than a dozen state-run banks - led by the country's largest, State Bank of India, - had appealed to the Supreme Court asking that Mallya be stopped from leaving as they step up pressure on the one-time billionaire.

On Wednesday, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, representing the banks, told the Supreme Court he had been told by police that Mallya left India on March 2, and asked the court to demand his return. Mallya's exact whereabouts are not known.

The court has asked Mallya to reply to a notice issued to him within two weeks, after which it will hear the case again. Details of the notice were not made public.

Mallya, an extravagant, larger-than-life personality who billed himself as the "King of Good Times", has become one of India's most famous errant borrowers, with newspapers closely following the fortunes of his yacht, jet and properties.

The debt at the heart of his troubles is owed by his Kingfisher Airlines, but was personally guaranteed by Mallya.

A spokesman for Mallya's UB Group did not respond to calls and email seeking comment.

In a statement on Sunday, Mallya said he had no intention of running away from creditors and was in talks with them for a one-time settlement of the Kingfisher debt.

Mallya was last month ousted as the chairman of top Indian spirits maker United Spirits, a unit of British spirits giant Diageo Plc.

A separate tribunal on Monday temporarily blocked a $75 million settlement Mallya is due to receive from Diageo.

Kingfisher, once India's second-biggest airline, collapsed in 2013, leaving creditors, suppliers and employees unpaid. The airline owed banks 69.63 billion rupees ($1.03 billion) as of the end of January 2014.

Including interest and other expenses, its liability is about 90 billion rupees ($1.34 billion), Rohatgi told the Supreme Court.

($1 = 67.2900 rupees)

(Writing by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Clara Ferreira-Marques and Mark Potter)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.


Updated Date: Mar 10, 2016 01:00 AM

Also Watch

Watch: Firstpost test rides the new Thunderbird 500X in Goa and walks you through the Royal Enfield Garage Cafe
  • Tuesday, April 17, 2018 Varun Dhawan on Shoojit Sircar's October, 5-star reviews and working with Anushka Sharma in Sui Dhaaga
  • Saturday, April 14, 2018 Ambedkar Jayanti: Re-visiting Babasaheb's ideals exposes fake Dalit politics of Rahul Gandhi and Congress
  • Monday, April 9, 2018 48 hours with Huawei P20 Pro: Triple camera offering is set to redefine smartphone imaging
  • Monday, April 16, 2018 Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore interview: Sports can't be anyone's fiefdom, we need an ecosystem to nurture raw talent

Also See