Vijay Mallya Is A Victim Of Circumstance, Says Lawyer Satish Maneshinde
This is the independent view of well-known criminal lawyer Satish Maneshinde. Maneshinde shared this comment with BloombergQuint over a phone conversation.
Right from the initial stages Vijay Mallya has said he is not a wilful defaulter. He had offered a settlement of Rs 6,900 crore covering 99 percent of the loan amount. The banks did not settle with him. In the meanwhile the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigated the case and he appeared before the CBI. The Lookout Notice issued against him was withdrawn. That is when he left India on the March 3, 2015. So he is not a wilful defaulter or absconder.
It’s only after the media trial started that things have become difficult for him. The media is hounding him because he has a public image of leading a king’s life. Whereas there are hundreds of wilful defaulters and as per the statement made before the Supreme Court only yesterday, Rs 5 lakh crore are due and payable by people who have taken more than Rs 500 crore in loans each.
There are people who owe the government and the banks, some of whom owe in the range of Rs 40,000-50,000 crore.
Vijay Mallya is a victim of circumstance. And only due to this campaign carried out against him he is in the spot that he is today.
The extradition proceedings for having owed banks is quite extraordinary and exceptional.
- Mallya has explained that none of the monies that he has advanced have been diverted by him for his personal activities.
- All the monies which were sent abroad were legally sent for aircraft and the lease amounts which his company owed.
- The monies which were advanced were advanced to his companies, not to him personally.
The valuation of his brand Kingfisher, to the tune of thousands of crore of rupees, was made and accepted by the banks. There is nothing illegal about the transactions that have taken place. It does not amount to either a criminal offence or money laundering offence.
The extradition proceedings likely to take place in England would not meet the requirements of strict procedure in the U.K. as Mallya has several defences to prove that similar alleged offences are not punishable in the U.K.
Apart from that, his contention that he is being hounded politically and through the media may find favour with the U.K. courts and ultimately the Exchequer and Foreign Affairs Ministry who take the final decision to extradite a person. Apart from all these he has a formidable team of legal advisors who take care of his defence.