New Delhi: Businessman Vijay Mallya on Friday morning commented for the first time since he reportedly fled India, ‘rubbishing’ claims that he had absconded.
“I am an international businessman. I travel to and from India frequently. I did not flee from India and neither am I an absconder. Rubbish.” said the former Kingfisher Airlines boss.
He also tweeted that: “As an Indian MP I fully respect and will comply with the law of the land. Our judicial system is sound and respected. But no trial by media.”
Claiming that he had bestowed “favours” he extended to the media, Mallya said the news channels should not lie simply to gain TRP.
“Let media bosses not forget help, favours,accommodation that I have provided over several years which are documented. Now lies to gain TRP ?”
The liquor baron had scoffed at claims that he had not publically declared his assets.
“News reports that I must declare my assets. Does that mean that Banks did not know my assets or look at my Parliamentary disclosures?”
Vijay Mallya owes a consortium of 17 public sector banks an amount close to Rs 9,000 crore. The Supreme Court had issued a notice to Mallya on a plea filed by the consortium, including State Bank of India, seeking to prevent him from leaving India and impounding his passport.
Mallya was, however, reported to be out of the country even before the notice was served, finance minister Arun Jaitley told the Rajya Sabha after the issue caused a stir during Thursday’s Question Hour.
Mallya’s escape from India came to light when attorney general, Mukul Rohatgi, appearing before the Supreme Court, on behalf of the PSU banks, said that investigative agencies have informed him that the former UB Group chairman has left the country.
Meanwhile, the CBI clarified on Thursday that it had issued a Look Out Circular (LOC) against Mallya in October but its mandate was not to prevent him from leaving the country.
CBI sources on Thursday said Mallya had travelled abroad in the last week of October and returned in November. He made two trips in the first and last weeks of December and a trip in January, in addition to his recent trip, reportedly to London, on March 2.
MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “As far as Vijay Mallya is concerned MEA has not been asked to take any action.”
The SC bench issued notice to Mallya and sought his response on pleas filed by a consortium of banks by March 30 seeking direction for freezing his passport and his presence before the apex court.