It could be the outcome of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent pep talk to public sector bankers or it may be just that Vijay Mallya's luck is finally running out.
Either way, the former 'King of Good Times' is skating on thin ice.
A 17-member bankers consortium, which had lent a little over Rs 7,000 crore to Kingfisher Airlines, the now defunct airline promoted by Mallya, has proactively approached the Karnataka High Court alleging breach of an undertaking given by him to the debt recovery tribunal (DRT).
Mallya had given an undertaking to the DRT that assets would not be alienated (sold or ownership transferred), which the bankers consortium is alleging has been violated. If the court finds merit in the argument, Mallya might find himself in hot water.
When United Bank of India declared him a wilful defaulter; Mallya had successfully brought a stay against that from the Kolkata High Court.
Mallya had also been re-elected as the Chairman of United Spirits or USL. However USL's minority shareholders had rejected some nine proposals at an EGM, including some that were seen as beneficial to Mallya and could have helped him recover financially.
He was forced to quit as Chairman of Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers, which is amidst a takeover battle and his appointment as MD of Kingfisher Airlines was rejected by Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
For Mallya the contempt case could not have come at a worse time as he struggles to save his much depleted empire. Any adverse ruling in the contempt case could further jeporadise his current position.
Copyright©2022 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today