New Delhi: On Thursday, Vijay Mallya rejected any links between his proposed settlement offer to banks or an upcoming court verdict on his extradition and that of Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper deal, who was brought back to India on Tuesday.
The fugitive businessman tweeted requesting banks to accept his offer and take back the principal loan amount he owes them. He said he wants to end the narrative of him having “stolen” money.
“Respectfully to all commentators, I cannot understand how my extradition decision or the recent extradition from Dubai and my settlement offer are linked in any way. Wherever I am physically,my appeal is ‘Please take the money’. I want to stop the narrative that I stole money,” Vijay Mallya tweeted.
On Wednesday he made a similar appeal in a series of tweets, offering banks to “repay 100 % of the principal amount”. He said that the huge loans he took from banks were used to keep his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines afloat despite high jet fuel prices.
The embattled businessman left India in March 2016 after banks got together to initiate legal proceedings to recover an outstanding amount of more than Rs 9,000 crores. India formally asked for his extradition in February last year.
In the UK for the past two years, he has been fighting India’s attempts to bring him back to face trial. Mallya continues to remain on bail on an extradition warrant executed by the Scotland Yard in 2017 on fraud and money laundering charges. A ruling at the end of his extradition trial is expected at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on December 10.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year, the 62-year-old tycoon said he was “making every effort” to settle his dues to banks but he had been made the “Poster Boy” of bank default and a lightning rod for public anger.