Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: A day after the Attorney General informed the Supreme Court that liquor baron Vijay Mallya has already left the country, probably to UK, opposition tried to corner the government over the issue.
The government however said today that it will get Mallya back to India. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the government will not spare anyone who flees with money from the country.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Opposition in the House, said, “Vijay Mallya is not a needle that he couldn't be caught. He can be seen for 1 km away”.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, CPM's MB Rajesh and RJD MP Pappu Yadav had given adjournment notice in Lok Sabha on Vijay Mallya issue in the morning. BJP MP Kirit Somaiya will also raise Vijay Mallya issue in Zero hour in Lok Sabha today.
Azad further raised question in the Rajya Sabha as to how Mallya could escape despite CBI notice.
“I accuse this government- why was Vijay Mallya not arrested, why was his passport not seized?,” Azad asked.
Defending government's stand over Mallya's escape from India, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “A CBI investigation is underway, justice will be served”.
“We cannot forget that Mallya was granted loans under UPA government,” the FM added.
Vijay Mallya was given banking facility for the 1st time in 2004 even when account wasnt in order, Jaitley said.
“When Vijay Mallya went abroad, Congress was in power and a case was registered under FEMA,” FM said.
He further reminded the house that when Lalit Modi went abroad, Congress was in power and a case was registered under FEMA.
Mallya, who is facing legal proceedings for allegedly defaulting loans of over Rs 9,000 crores from various banks, has left the country a week back, government yesterday informed the Supreme Court.
Banks and their consortium have started taking active action, assets are being attached, he said.
Jaitley further said the accounts were declared non-performing assets (NPA) on April 30, 2009 and these debts were restructured and more facilites extened in December 2010.
"In what circumstances were the loans given is an issue of investigation and the CBI is investigating," he said.
"How these accounts were running, what facilities were given, the dates tell their own story," Jaitley said, adding "when the loans were given, how they were given... introspection will be required."
Jaitley said the liabilities including interest aggregates to Rs 9,091.4 crore as on November 30, 2015.
Maintaining that banks and financial institutions were taking steps to recover dues and attachment of properties, the Minister said he had a list of 22 cases filed in different parts of the country and added that some assets have also been attached.
He also said there was no order to stop Mallya from leaving the country.
"That day, there was no order of any agency to stop him (from leaving the country)," Jaitley said, adding Mallya had left the country before the banks moved the Supreme Court for seizure of his passport.
Skill Development Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy told RS, "Vijay Mallya is not a saint for us, even the accounts faulted in 2004 were under UPA government".
Later Congress MPs led by Sonia Gandhi staged a walkout.
The bench issued notice to Mallya 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.
Since the court was informed that Mallya has already left the country, probably to UK, the bench allowed the plea of AG that the notice to him can be served through his official Rajya Sabha Email ID, Indian High Commission at London and also through counsel representing him before various high courts, Debt Recovery Tribunal and also through his Company.