Vijay Mallya Is No Longer the King of Good Times

Across media channels, Vijay Mallya and the DRT order were the subject of debate. 

3 min read

With the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) passing an order to keep the Diageo’s money out of liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s reach, he cannot withdraw the $75 million he received from Diageo to quit the liquor business until the case filed by SBI against him is disposed of.

The top state-run lender approached DRT seeking action against the UB Group promoter for defaulting on loans.

SBI, which heads the consortium of 17 lenders to the grounded Kingfisher Airlines, had moved DRT against the airline’s chairman Mallya, in its bid to recover over Rs 7,000 crore worth of loans due, from him.

Mallya’s personal wealth in shareholdings of various companies, as on 4 March 2016 is Rs 7,068 crore, yet he defied the whole system.

But why did the banking system wake up so late, was the bone of contention in India Today’s primetime debate.

Moderator Rajdeep Sardesai asked why it is difficult for a common man to get a loan when Vijay Mallya, despite being bankrupt can still get loans.

Vijay Mallya is symbolic of perhaps a flawed banking system.
Rajdeep Sardesai, Consulting Editor, India Today

Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Aarin Capital agreed and said:

Like it is in the US, we need a bankruptcy law without the court’s involvement. The recovery mechanism should be robust. Banks have to work together and take a court order and get the assets sold. Mallya has to be proceeded against and deemed bankrupt.

Rajdeep Sardesai remarked that despite this incident, Vijay Mallya’s luxurious lifestyle hasn’t changed one bit. Former Director of Kingfisher, Parvez Dhamania added that there was absolutely no sign of any remorse.

He will definitely want to avoid the Indian law. Subsequently, we should move beyond the issue of one person. So many other skeletons likely to come out of the cupboard.
MG Arun, Deputy Editor, India Today

While there was not much dissenting opinion, with Kingfisher refusing to send any representative to the debate, the discussion on the case ended in a consensus that banking laws need to override the power of influential people.


The DRT’s order and the consequences Vijay Mallya may have to face have been the subject of debate in most media circles. CNN-IBN made Mallya their talking point as well; with a panel that compromised Air Deccan founder Captain Gopinath, Vir Sanghvi, G Giriprakash, Delhi High Court Advocate Vijay Aggarwal and former Kingfisher Airlines pilot Captain Kedar Wagh.

Captain Gopinath said fears that Mallya will not return to India are unfounded. He insisted that the man be separated from the airline and its fortunes. Captain Kedar Wagh, who is owed over Rs 40 lakh by the airline, shot back:

He lives as flamboyantly as he used to when Kingfisher Airlines was doing well. I’m owed more than Rs 40 lakh and all of us ex-employees receive Income Tax notices demanding that we pay taxes on salaries we are not receiving.
Captain Kedar Wagh

Delhi High Court Advocate Vijay Aggarwal had a bleak view of the Enforcement Directorate’s involvement in the case.

Ever since the Enforcement Directorate took over, everyone who is owed money can kiss it goodbye. The law is such that the Government Exchequer confiscates the money in cases such as these. Employees, shareholders and moneylenders – there is no hope for them.
Vijay Aggarwal

An undaunted Captain Kedar Wagh said that they would fight back, until their “dying breath” for the money they needed most to send their children back to school and clear their own debts.

Vir Sanghvi, who shared anchor Zakka Jacob’s cynical view of the situation said that the government ought to make an example of Vijay Mallya, India’s most hated businessman and the “poster boy for all that is wrong in India.”

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