The erstwhile King of Good Times, liquor baron, flamboyant tycoon and now multi thousand crore loan defaulter has ignited the ire of not just his unpaid employees but also that of the banks that he owes the money to.
A consortium of 17 banks that KFA owes the money to have moved the Bangalore Debt Recovery Tribunal seeking an arrest warrant against Mallya.
This comes just a week after Mallya resigned as Chairman of the United Spirits Ltd after Diageo bought him out for a $75 million deal. In addition, SBI, the country’s largest lender is also seeking the impounding of his passport and a full disclosure of Mallya’s assets.
It’s not just about the banks; part of the story is the plight of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines employees who have nowhere to go and have been unpaid since 2013 right after KFA folded. They have now written a scathing open letter to Mallya accusing him of having blood on his hands and holding him squarely responsible for their misery.
The larger question however is the kind of rules and norms that banks follow for everyday individuals don’t seem to be applying when it comes to high net worth individuals like Mallya who seem to be getting the soft end of the stick be it the banks or the law.
With his legal defence team quoting loophole after loophole to make the case for a clean getaway for Mr Mallya, the question that needs to be asked and will be asked tonight on the Nation at 9: Should Vijay Mallya who owns assets worth millions of dollars spread across the world and has enough money to splurge on F1 teams, new cricket teams, an opulent yacht and mansions across the globe, not be made to pay the 7000 cr he owes the country?
What about his employees who are left in the lurch and have no money to pay next month’s rent? Does Mr Mallya have no moral responsibility towards them? Or is it the case that because there are legal loopholes in the contracts and the wording of those contracts that Mr Mallya will be deemed too big to fail and will make a clean getaway? Should he be allowed to get away? What can the govt do, if anything to make sure that the king of bad loans does not slip through the cracks? Next on our show: the legal, financial and moral arguments in the case.