Lady Walk, Queen Hoo Lane, Tiwen at Hertfordshire is now the focus of the Indian community besides the international media. Here is where the flamboyant turned “fugitive” Vijay Mallya lives after evading the clutches of law in India with a diplomatic passport.
Another prominent figure has been in trouble for more than one reason in the last few years. Mallya owes more than 7000 crore (US$1.0 billion) in loans to a consortium of Indian banks. The banks petitioned the Supreme Court of India to try to prevent him from leaving the country, but the Indian government indicated that according to the Central Bureau of Investigation, Mallya had already escaped the country on 2 March 2016.
The Enforcement directorate of India filed a money laundering case in March 2016 for 500 crore (US$74 million). The issue has been raised prominently to the government in the parliament by the opposition parties, and the government has been criticised for letting Mallya fly out of the country – Which obviously Mallya denies. Mallya insisted that he “did not flee from India”, and also criticised his “media trial” over the issue.
Asian Lite’s Kanwal Toor spoke to a few Indians who had rather interesting views on the issue:
Prabhjot Singh, Entrepreneur – I think that firstly, he is not an absconder as the media here in India is portraying him. He exited the country legally. Let us make him liable for what he owes to the banks but no media trial please. My gut feeling is that he will take OTS (one time settlement)
Roshan Dutt – Media Personality – I just feel it’s unfair to run away from your failures stealing the money of public, our money, a common mans money. It feels like someone has stolen from my home and from many homes and everyone knows the thief but no one cares a damn. Only the people who have been robbed are pleading for justice.
Pravin Patel, Businessman – I am not really surprised that this guy has busted King Fisher Airline. He amply enjoyed spending money that was not his and went on a huge ego trip. It is also my opinion that his arrogance was the key cause to his downfall and have no doubts that he must have greased many a palm within the then Congress Govt and bank officials. Such huge loans without security are really a cause for concern. Strange that his life style did not warn the banks of his extravagance. He should be put behind bars and all wealth confiscated.
Media chasing Mr Mallya and the government diligently following the fiasco, Vijay can hardly expect a good night sleep for the next few months.