New Delhi: The service tax department will "very shortly" auction liquor baron Vijay Mallya's aircraft to recover dues estimated at nearly Rs 535 crore, a senior finance ministry official said on Saturday .
"Vijay Mallya's some of the properties have been attached. His aircraft are with us. So, that is what we are going to auction very shortly," Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Chairman Najib Shah said at a press meet.
Last month, the service tax department had claimed in a petition to the Bombay High Court that Mallya's total disputed liability in respect of service tax was to the tune of Rs 535 crore.
It was also claimed that Mallya had collected a large sum of money as service tax from flyers of the now-grounded Kingfisher Airlines on behalf of the government, but the same was not deposited in the government treasury.
Mallya, whose group company owes over Rs 9,000 crore to 17 banks, had left the country on March 2 and is believed to be in the UK.