Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya has extended his “sympathies” to Naresh Goyal, the founder of crisis-hit Jet Airways, as he questioned the Centre for bailing out ailing Air India, saying that being a PSU “is no excuse for discrimination”.
In a series of tweets, Mallya also reiterated his offer to “pay 100 percent” back the money he owes to the banks.
Mallya expressed his solidarity with Naresh Goyal, who has stepped down from the board of the airline and on Tuesday pulled out of bidding, deciding not to try to retake control of the airline that he ran until last month. The development came after some of the prospective investors objected to his entry.
“Even though we were fierce competitors, my sympathies go out to Naresh and Neeta Goyal who built Jet Airways that India should be extremely proud of. Fine Airline providing vital connectivity and class service. Sad that so many Airlines have bitten the dust in India. Why?” Mallya asked on Twitter.
“Even though Jet was a major competitor to Kingfisher at the time I feel sorry to see such a large private airline on the brink of failure when Government used 35K crores of public funds to bail out Air India. Just being a PSU is no excuse for discrimination (sic),” he tweeted.
Mallya, once known as the king of good times, is facing charges in India of financial irregularities amounting to over Rs 9,000 crore. He has been putting forth his version of events through social media in recent weeks, most recently on March 31. He has reiterated inside and outside the court that he is willing to repay the loans, wondering why authorities in India have not been taking up his offer to settle.
“Every time I say that I am willing to pay 100 percent back to the PSU Banks, media say I am spooked, terrified etc of extradition from the U.K. to India. I am willing to pay either way whether I am in London or in an Indian Jail. Why don’t Banks take the money I offered first ? (sic),” he said on Wednesday.
The businessman flew to the UK in March 2016 as a consortium of banks owed Rs 9,000 crore by his defunct Kingfisher Airlines closed in on him to recover the money. In India, he has been declared a fugitive economic offender.
Mallya has filed a renewal application in the appeals court of the high court in the United Kingdom and sought an oral hearing for permission to appeal against the February 4 order of the home secretary to extradite him to India.
Mallya had five working days to apply for an oral hearing since April 5, when Justice William Davis refused permission on the basis of his written application and the responses received from the Home Office and the Crown Prosecution Service.
The renewal application will now be listed in the high court based on its schedule in the coming days and weeks, officials said.
Apr 17, 2019 10:58 IST