After the Enforcement Directorate moved to attach his properties in Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai, liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya said that he is 'pained' to know that and accused the Indian government of carrying out a 'biased' investigation. in a statement. "I am deeply pained to keep reading in the media that Government agencies are planning further unprecedented action against me."
"After months of investigation which included personal interviews with me, the CBI is reported to have now constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to further investigate Kingfisher Airlines and myself. It is, indeed, sad and disappointing that the thousands of documents submitted by us and interrogation of several executives seems insufficient to convince them there has been no wrongdoing. I have maintained and continue to maintain that there has been absolutely no misappropriation or diversion of funds and strenuously deny any allegation to the contrary. The UB Group has itself invested over Rs 6,000 crores of own money into Kingfisher Airlines which has been lost due to a genuine business failure. At the relevant time Air India received a bail out package of Rs 30,000 crores from the Government which serves to reinforce the stressed position of the aviation sector at that time."
"The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has alleged that proceeds from the loan made to Kingfisher Airlines by IDBI Bank were diverted or siphoned out. Kingfisher Airlines has provided full details supported by copies of bank statements and swift copies showing that the funds were utilised only for legitimate business purposes. If the ED wish to expand their scope to include all Banks, Kingfisher Airlines will be only too happy to provide full details and co-operate in the investigation," Mallya added in the statement.
This comes in response to the ED's recent move to attach the UB Towers in Bengaluru and a coffee plantation in Coorg along with other properties in Chennai and Mumbai.
"The ED obtained a NBW against me for non appearance before them despite three summons. I never refused to appear but sought time as I was trying to sell assets to pay the employees, tax authorities and Banks. Instead, at the ED's behest my passport was revoked despite my offering to appear before the ED by video conference and make statements on oath which is permissible."
Mallya added, "Now the ED's latest move seems to be to approach the PMLA Court to declare me a proclaimed absconder for reasons that I cannot understand. I left India as per schedule on March 2nd to attend meetings in Geneva at which time no ED proceedings had commenced and no summons issued to me.All Government agencies are also approaching various Courts to cancel previous exemptions from personal appearance granted to me so that further NBW's can be issued against me all of which seems to be part of a concerted effort to construct a case for my extradition."
"It surely appears as if these agencies are pursuing a heavily biased investigation and are already holding me guilty without trial after which I need to prove my innocence.
Through all this I have still reached out to the Banks asking them to nominate a committee to sit across the table and negotiate a one time settlement with us.
Most recent media reports and a tweet from the ED suggest that the ED have attached various properties belonging to myself and United Breweries Holdings Limited which is a public company and not even the subject of any ED investigation. The assets purportedly attached under PMLA date back to several years prior to the launch of Kingfisher Airlines. There is no rationale nor any legal basis for the series of actions initiated by the ED which is now making it more difficult to raise resources to pay the Banks.
Purely civil matters such as loan recovery are being connected with criminal allegations without any basis whatsoever."
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:49 PM