London: Absconding Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Monday, who appeared in a court here in connection with an extradition case, said that he had not stolen anyone’s money and his offer to pay back the loan amount of banks was not a bogus one.
“I have not stolen anyone’s money. My offer to return the loan amount of banks is not a bogus one,” Mallya said while responding to questions from the media persons in the court premises. “Extradition is entirely a different matter,” he said.
Mallya said that he has filed comprehensive settlement applications before the Karnataka High Court in the matter related to repaying of loans to the banks. “I have filed comprehensive settlement applications before the Karnataka High Court which coincidently going to be head today,” he said.
Mallya, who arrived at the Westminster Magistrate’s Court in London to hear the judgment in an extradition case, said that his legal team would review the judgment and take proper steps thereafter. “Whatever the judgment, my legal team will review the judgment and take proper steps thereafter,” he said.
“Yes, I have tweeted saying that I want to repay to bankers and others that have nothing to do with this extradition issue. It is a completely separate matter. My settlement matter is not related to the judgment which is going to be delivered today,” he added.
The Westminster Magistrates Court in London is expected to pronounce its judgment in the extradition case of Mallya on Monday. The court is hearing the case on India’s request.
On December 6, Mallya reiterated his wish to repay banks completely in a bid to end the narrative of him having “stolen” money from various lenders. A day after Mallya requested banks to accept money from him, the 62-year-old, once again, refuted reports of any connection between his proposed settlement offer and the upcoming ruling in a UK court with regard to his request to block his extradition to India.
On Wednesday, the liquor baron, while refuting all allegations levelled against him, had offered to pay back the full amount of the principal loan he owed to multiple banks.
“Respectfully to all commentators, I cannot understand how my extradition decision or the recent extradition from Dubai and my settlement offer are linked in any way. Wherever I am physical, my appeal is “Please take the money.” I want to stop the narrative that I stole money,” he tweeted.
On Sunday, a joint team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) led by CBI Joint Director A Sai Manohar left for the United Kingdom (UK) for the court proceedings. Earlier, CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana was leading this case.
Earlier on Friday, the Supreme Court had issued a notice to the ED on a plea filed by Mallya seeking a stay on the proceedings initiated by the ED to declare him a fugitive economic offender and confiscate his assets.
Mallya is facing money-laundering charges in the United Kingdom after India initiated extradition proceedings against him. Both the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have filed several cases for alleged loan default against him. Mallya has been residing in the UK for the past two years.