New Delhi: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is currently in the United Kingdom and is being sought out in India over charges of money laundering, on Sunday claimed that the banks gave him loans after evaluating all aspects, adding that he is not trying to run to evade law enforcement agencies but is on a personal visit.
In an email interview with the Sunday Guardian, the business tycoon said that he feels that he already been branded as criminal in the country and therefore, it was not the right time for him to return.
"There was a lookout notice issued against me last year. But I didn`t `escape`. Why am I being portrayed as a criminal now? Loan defaults are a business matter. When the banks give out loans, they know the risk involved. They decide we don`t. Our own business was flourishing, but plummeted suddenly. Don`t make me the villain. I have the best intentions. I`m quiet because I fear my words will be twisted like of others," he said.
Asserting that he was being victimised, Mallya alleged that there was a big agenda that some people were pushing against him.
In the interview, he also said that he wanted to return but feared that he might not get to fair chance to present his side as he was already branded as a criminal.
When asked about the current location at which he was residing presently, he said that it was not wise for him to reveal his whereabouts, asserting that all he wanted was to feel safe.
Earlier today, Mallya had said that all the efforts by the media, who were trying to hunt him down, were useless as he was not going to speak to them in any case.
"I am being hunted down by media in UK. Sadly they did not look in the obvious place. I will not speak to media so don`t waste your efforts," Mallya tweeted.
Meanwhile, after writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in safeguarding their interest, employees of Vijay Mallya`s now defunct Kingfisher Airlines are set to file a case in the Supreme Court in order to get their dues from the company.
The employees are in touch with senior lawyer MV Kini to put their case before the apex court and they have been assured by him that their case will be fought pro bono (for free), given their financial condition.
The government had earlier told the Supreme Court that Mallya had left India on March 2 following which the bench issued notice to him and sought his response within two weeks on pleas filed by a consortium of banks seeking direction for freezing his passport and his presence before the apex court.
In a series of tweets on Friday, Mallya said that he was not an absconder and was not fleeing from India adding that he firmly believes the law of the land.
"I am an international businessman. I travel to and from India frequently. I did not flee from India and neither am I an absconder. Rubbish. As an Indian MP I fully respect and will comply with the law of the land. Our judicial system is sound and respected. But no trial by media," Mallya said on twitter.
"News reports that I must declare my assets. Does that mean that Banks did not know my assets or look at my Parliamentary disclosures?" he asked.
Mallya further said that `once a media witch hunt starts, it escalates into a raging fire where truth and facts are burnt to ashes`.