Vijay Mallya says he is ready to talk to banks for one-time settlement of loans

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Bengaluru: Embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, at the centre of a money laundering probe, took to microblogging platform Twitter in the early hours of Friday and appealed to the Supreme Court to intervene in helping him revive his one-time settlement offer to a consortium of banks.

“Our substantial offer before the Hon’ble Supreme Court was rejected by Banks without consideration. Am ready to talk settlement on fair basis,” he tweeted.

Mallya, once known for his lavish lifestyle, left for the United Kingdom in March 2016 after lenders and investigative authorities started to close in on him over unpaid dues of over Rs9,000 crore to a consortium of banks as well as allegations of money laundering and fund diversion charges.

“Public sector banks have policies for one-time Settlements. Hundreds of borrowers have settled. Why should this be denied to us,” he said in another tweet. The banks had rejected his one-time settlement (OTS) offer of Rs4,000 crore to cover up some dues in April 2016.

On Thursday, Mallya, through his lawyers, told the apex court that he was being made the “poster boy of loan defaulters in India,” while accusing the banks of targeting him and not taking up his offer. On the same day, the Supreme Court also reserved an order on whether Mallya could be held in contempt of court for not fully disclosing his assets before the court.

The apex court directed Mallya twice—in April and October 2016—to disclose all assets held by him and his family after banks spurned his offer to pay Rs4,000 crore to settle the debts of now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

“Wish the Hon’ble Supreme Court would intervene and put an end to all this by directing Banks and us to negotiate and settle. We are ready,” he added on Twitter on Friday.

In his series of tweets, Mallya also accused the government and attorney general Mukul Rohtagi of denying him a fair trial. “I have humbly obeyed every single court order without exception. Seems as if the government is bent upon holding me guilty without fair trial,” he tweeted.