Kingfisher Villa situated at the Sinquerim near Taj Vivanta is one of the most prestigious properties in Goa which belongs to none other than debt ridden the Vijay Mallya, who owns many such properties across India, is now will be auctioned by the banks as the part of recovery process initiated against the beer baron by the bankers. According to the news published in the national media “Banks are gearing up to take possession of Vijay Mallya’s palatial villa in Goa by the month-end. A hearing with the district commissioner is scheduled for July 11, after which bankers are expected to take possession of the property situated near Sinquerim beach, in Candolim village”.
The banks are facing lots of pressure from the government and the Reserve Bank of India to recover the money from the high value defaulters as it is public money, “There is a lot of pressure from the government and also the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to ring-fence the high-value defaulters. So naturally, the judiciary will also have to act within certain timeframes so that cases do not get prolonged for long and bankers get back their dues. For economic progress and for banks to play an important part in the process, bank’s money should be secure and not pilfered out by defaults and frauds.” The senior banker said.
When the media try to speak to the Kingfisher Airlines spokesperson Sumanto Bhattacharya regarding this issue he refused to comment on this matter. The Bankers have confirmed that they are directly monitoring the case and it is expected to get over by the end of this month. “We are expecting to clear the litigation by the end of this month, and proceed with the possession. The Goa bench of the Bombay High Court had given lenders the nod to take possession of Kingfisher Villa last year. But Mallya employed delaying tactics by claiming that his group company United Spirits Ltd (USL) was a tenant in the property since 2005. But the documents like the electricity bill and the water bills are not stamped,” Said the senior bank official.
The banker has sought the permission of the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Goa to take the possession of the Villa under the Sarfest Act. “And we are expecting a favorable decision from the court,” Said the senior bank officer. The district magistrate had admitted the plea of USL against State Bank of India (SBI) and other lenders but bankers say that the petition is likely to be disposed of, and bankers are likely to get their dues. Citing the Portuguese Civil Code, USL has taken the matter to a local court, requesting it to block the auction of the property by banks. Meanwhile the banker are also planning to auction the Kingfisher House situated at Jogeshwari in Mumbai after reaching to the agreement with income tax department who had also claimed the to the proceeds. “We will be proceeding with the auction of the Kingfisher House and some of the IT claims also will be settled”, said the bank official.
The journey of debt of Vijay Mallya has started with the grounding of his Kingfisher Airlines in year 2012 which created the debt of Rs. 7,000 crore which the bankers were trying to recover for quite some time by selling the securities pledged to the banks by the company. These include the real estate properties and the share of the group. The banks have so far managed to sell some part of shares belongs to United Spirits for 104 crore last year. This sale will go on till the time banks recover the entire money including the interest from Mallya.
Image Courtesy: Dainik Bhaskar