Banks reject Rs 4,000 crore settlement offer made by Mallya
A consortium of banks on Thursday rejected in the Supreme Court an offer of Rs 4,000 crore made by industrialist Vijay Mallya as settlement of a Rs 9,000-crore loan. The court also asked Mallya to disclose all assets owned by him and immediate family by April 21, to help the lenders take a reasonable stand.
A bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman also asked the elusive liquor baron to inform when he would appear before the court and return to the country for “effective dialogue” with a consortium of 17 lending banks to clear all dues.Appearing for the banks, senior advocates Shyam Divan and S S Nagananda rejected the offer of Rs 4,000 crore made earlier by Mallya and his defunct Kingfisher Airlines on March 30 as settlement. A fresh offer, though undisclosed, was also termed unacceptable. “However, the consortium is not against a negotiated settlement, provided Mallya shows the bonafide for meaningful settlement and, as a pre-condition, discloses on oath details of all properties movable and immovable, tangible and intangible, shareholdings in companies and trusts, investments and partnerships etc., in India and abroad as on March 31, 2016,” the bench said.The banks insisted that the presence of Mallya was absolutely necessary for any meaningful negotiation. The court, finding the plea reasonable, asked Mallya’s counsels, senior advocates C S Vaidyanathan and Parag Tripathi, “What about your presence?” To this, the counsels submitted that they would inform the court on April 26, the next date of hearing.At the outset, banks’ counsel Divan submitted that a negotiated settlement of the dues was always better but for that a full and fair disclosure of Mallya’s assets was necessary. There has to be substantial offer as well, he said. “His presence would also accelerate the process tremendously and lead to effective dialogue with some benchmark within a reasonable horizon,” he said. Mallya’s counsels submitted that they have got the response from the banks on their previous offers and sought two weeks’ time for further consideration and disclosure of all assets. The court also allowed a plea by Oriental Bank of Commerce-led consortium to make its submission in the pending case filed by the consortium of 17 banks led by SBI.