Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya is negotiating with the government of India to return home voluntarily and settle dues with the banks, according to sources.Mallya’s extradition trial in London, in which he is accused of fraud and money laundering in connection with a Rs 10,000 crore loan for his bust Kingfisher Airlines, is very close to reaching its conclusion with a judgment expected within weeks. If he is extradited, Mallya will end up in a prison in India as an undertrial.A highly placed source told TOI: “He has apparently approached the enforcement directorate (ED) to come back to India but nothing has been guaranteed to him. Even if he does come back, it does not mean he will not be prosecuted. He would then fight his case in Indian courts. He will probably spend one or two days in jail and then get bail. If he voluntarily returns, we can issue emergency travel documents to him and the extradition case faces a natural death.”“He will be arrested immediately upon his arrival in India though. There are no plans to drop the criminal charges against him. He has to face justice. Then it’s up to the courts in India to decide if he committed fraud or if it was business failure. The government of India will try to prove it was fraud. I don’t know why he has approached the ED as the extradition trial in the UK is being brought by the CBI. If he wants to go back and face the Indian courts, we will ask the UK government to return his passport. We want him back whether voluntary or not.”Mallya said on the phone to TOI: “I don’t want to comment on anything. It’s ridiculous … all these breaking news stories in India. I have not heard anything of the sort but even if I do I am not going to comment on anything. The media creates the questions and they need to answer them.”On June 22, Mallya filed a 500-plus page application before the Karnataka High Court setting out assets of Rs 13,900 crores to repay his creditors and the same month he issued a media statement saying since 2016 he had been making offers to the banks to settle debts. He is accused of defaulting on loans now worth nearly Rs10,000 crore that 17 Indian banks gave to his airline Kingfisher Airlines, which has since folded.In June, Mallya also released letters (dated April 2016) he had sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley, offering to settle with the banks.
CBI and ED charge sheets specifically allege criminality with no intention to repay Banks. Since 2016 I have been m… https://t.co/SjYwQb0skG— Vijay Mallya (@TheVijayMallya) 1530051778000
On June 26, he tweeted: “CBI and ED chargesheets specifically allege criminality with no intention to repay banks. Since 2016 I have been making efforts to settle. Now I have placed everything before the Hon’Ble Karnataka HC so where is the malafide?”
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