Vijay Mallya Is Free As Air!

Notwithstanding selective yells against Mallya, there are very few chances of his even being touched by the Indian law enforcing agencies. The nationalised banks of India can kiss their money goodbye.

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Scofflaw defaulter Vijay Mallya may remain beyond the reach of Indian law enforcing agencies permanently, as he is ensconced in the UK. Mallya has not violated any laws in Britain. In India, he owes 17 banks roughly Rs.9,400 crores [US$1.4 billion], the parliament has been informed.

His Kingfisher Beer brands owns hundreds of pubs in UK and could pay for a lavish life in Europe and elsewhere.

If India impounds the passport of Mallya, he could seek political asylum in UK and thus remain permanently beyond the reach of Indian authorities.

The company – Diageo – that makes the world famous beer – Heineken – is highly influential.

Media reports revealed the real story:

Heineken has been increasing its stake in the company over the last two years, after Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines was grounded. The liquor baron then pledged his shares in UB as guarantee for loans taken for the troubled airline, helping Heineken steadily increase its shareholding.

Despite having rights to full management control, Heineken is unlikely to disturb the current setting of the UB board, sources close to Mallya told the newspaper.

“Besides rearranging the board representations, there’s nothing much to be decided immediately. The current CEO was decided on joint consent, and there is similar consent on who the successor is going to be,” they said.

“Heineken’s purchase doesn’t materially change the ownership structure or our successful collaboration,” an external spokesperson for Heineken was separately quoted as saying.

Mallya retains cordial ties with the family-controlled Heineken beer empire. He had earlier attended Heineken’s controlling shareholder Charlene de Carvalho Heineken’s birthday celebrations.

In 2012, Mallya sold a controlling stake in United Spirits to Diageo, ceding control of his flagship firm to the British company.

Political reasons:

  1. Vijay Mallya is a member of the Rajya Sabha – courtesy – Janata Dal [Secular]. The BJP needs the support of its leader HD Kumaraswamy in Karnataka – currently Leader of Opposition – as the state is being ruled by the Congress. Mallya was ‘elected’ with the support of all the major political players – and that includes the Congress, Janata Party [under Dr Swamy] and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
  2. Dr Swamy destroyed the political career of the late Ramakrishna Hegde only to help Deve Gowda who went on to become PM! This was mentioned to friends by the late PM Chandrasekhar himself!
  3. The costly wrist watch of Karnataka CM Sidhdharamaiah and posh cars with Kumaraswamy have links with those connected to Mallya.
  4. Mallya is a close friend of Lalit Modi [hiding in London] and former Union Minister Praful Patel. Patel, Board of Control of Cricket in India [BCCI] bad boy N Srinivasan and current Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. They all have been known to have admitted to being friends and/or close acquaintances of Mallya. The trick to snare Lalit Modi was made available to the Prime Minister long ago. But, the attempt was never made. Worse, now Google has removed the relevant blogs!
  5. Praful Patel destroyed Air India, former CAG Vinod Rai said.

According to Wikipedia, Mallya is in his second term as an Independent MP from his home State of Karnataka. Among the positions he has held as MP include:

Unknown month, 2002 – Feb. 2004 and Oct. 2004 – April 2008 Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Defence

Sept. 2002 – Feb. 2003, Member, Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests

Feb. 2003 – Feb. 2004, Member, Committee on Defence

Aug. 2004 – April 2008, Member, Committee on Industry

Sept. 2004 – April 2008, Convenor, Sub-Committee-III of the Committee on Industry for the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises

Unknown time span, Member, Sub-Committee-IV of the Committee on Industry for Action Taken Report

Aug. 2007 – April 2008, Member, Sub-Committee-II for Small Scale Industries of the Committee on Industry

Aug. 2010 onwards, Member, Committee on IndustryAug. 2010 onwards, Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Civil Aviation

Aug. 2012 onwards, Member, Committee on Chemicals and Fertilizers

Sporting reasons

Mallya is said to own the following sports teams:

Force India [motor racing]

Royal Challengers, Bangalore [cricket team]

Mohun Bagan [football club based in Kolkata]

East Bengal [football club based in Kolkata]

The corporate reasons

Mallya has interests in the media. His interests cover the newspaper The Asian Age – which is in turn linked to The Deccan Chronicle Group [DCH]. DCH is currently under the microscope of the Central Bureau of Investigation [CBI].

Operative excerpts from a media report in February 2016:

As per the FIR in the Canara Bank case registered by the CBI in July 2013, during the period 2009-2011, the accused entered into a criminal conspiracy to cheat Canara Bank, Secunderabad Branch. “In furtherance of the conspiracy, the accused had availed Open Cash Credit limit with periodical enhancements and multiple short term corporate loans aggregating Rs. 1,230 crores (approximately) from Canara Bank, thereby availing excessive bank finance without adequate drawing power by allegedly submitting false and fabricated financial statements and by suppressing the borrowings taken from other banks,” said the CBI statement issued in July 2013.

The accused utilized the short term corporate loans for the purposes other than for which they were sanctioned by fraudulently diverting the proceeds of various credit facilities, CBI alleged.

“The company had submitted false & fabricated balance sheets concealing its actual borrowings from Canara Bank and other banks and had also alienated the security hypothecated/mortgaged to Canara Bank. The total loss allegedly caused to Canara Bank is to the extent of Rs 357.77 crores (approximately) as on 08.09.2012,” the First Information Report claimed.

Another report in the Economic Times revealed how Mallya managed to do asset stripping to line his pockets. Operative excerpts:

Kingfisher’s lenders, led by State Bank of India, have so far got back about Rs 550 crores from the sale of shares of USL and Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilizers (MCF), and are now looking to take possession of two of the group’s properties in Mumbai and Goa, reportedly worth Rs 120 crore. “The KAL brand may not be worth anything since the airline is not operational. But we have corporate guarantees from Mallya and UB Holdings,” says a senior official from one of the large banks in the 17-lender consortium.

The airline had guarantees worth over Rs. 14,830 crores, including Rs. 5,900 crores from Mallya, on its liabilities at the end of March 2012, as per its annual report for 2011-12.

Financial experts opined that the chances of loan recoveries were “unfortunately, very low”. The loan recovery process, with its legal ramifications, could take years, reports said.

Kingfisher’s lenders sold the MCF shares pledged with them, Zuari Agro Chemicals, a KK Birla company, bought them and ended up with about a 10% stake in the company. Not to be outdone, its Pune-based competitor Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Corporation bought MCF shares in the open market earlier this month, and now with a stake of 24.5%, is the biggest shareholder in the company; the UB group’s holding stood at 22%.

Mallya exited Berger Paints which he bought in 1988. He made a handsome profit. His exit from engineering company Best & Crompton, Vijay TV, Kissan Products, Aventis Pharma and Hindustan Polymers were also financially rewarding.

Tailpiece:

Mallya apologist Doubting Thomases in the media could always say that the above averments are mere suspicions based on surmises.

Sadly, they aren’t.

The case of absconder Lalit Modi is a very clear example. Operative excerpts from the Wikipedia dossier on Lalit Modi:

The Enforcement Directorate of the Congress-led Indian government launched investigations in following cases against Lalit Modi and other BCCI officials:

Contravening the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to the extent of Rs. 890 million (a charge against Lalit Modi, BCCI and few other officials). Modi blamed N Srinivasan, who was the treasurer of BCCI at the time.

Accepting deposit of Rs. 200 million from UK-based Emerging Media (IPL), in contravention of FEMA (charge against Modi, BCCI, N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah)

Payment of Rs. 2.43 billion to Cricket South Africa for IPL 2009, in contravention of FEMA (charge against Modi, BCCI, Shashank Manohar and other BCCI officials)

Payment of USD 80 million to World Sports Group (WSG) by Multi Screen Media (MSM), as facilitation fees to withdraw from the telecast rights contract

Routing of US$ 25 million from MSM-WSG deal to illegal accounts of Lalit Modi, his associates and political beneficiaries

Telling selective bidders how much to bid during the first IPL team auction in 2008

Using illegal money to buy corporate jet through a Cayman Islands company

Investment of Rs. 100 million by Modi’s wife in Indian heritage hotel through a Mauritius-based company

Other cases related to FEMA violations, including ownership of IPL franchisee, nature of foreign investments, and valuation and transfer of shares.

In 2013, a BCCI committee found Modi guilty on 8 charges, which resulted in his expulsion from BCCI. The committee was led by the BCCI vice-president and BJP leader Arun Jaitley; its other members included the Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and Chirayu Amin.

The charges against Modi included:

Rigging bids: Adding two onerous clauses to the invitation to tender draft without informing the BCCI, to favour two bidders.

(Lalit Modi claimed that he had verbally informed the BCCI President Shashank Manohar). 

  • Threatening a representative of the Kochi Tuskers Kerala to give up their franchise rights or face sanctions
  • Favouring World Sports Group (WSG) for TV rights
  • Failing to disclose links to owners with interests in Internet rights (Guarav Burman, his step-daughter’s husband, held a stake in Global Cricket Venture)
  • Misconduct of threatening to “expose certain individuals in the BCCI” via tweets
  • Planning a rival cricket league with clubs in England
  • Awarding theatrical rights to a company without the governing council’s approval
  • Signing a free commercial time deal with an agency without the governing council’s approvalAs a result, BCCI banned Modi for life in 2013. Action taken, anyone would yell. That is a lie.
  • Lalit Modi is the boss of the Indian company – resident in India – Godfrey Phillips.
  • Godfrey Phillips India Ltd. is one of the leading companies of Modi Group, which is one of the large players in the domestic cigarette industry. The company has an annual turnover of approximately Rs. 3600 crores (US$530 million), according to the 2013-14 estimate. It has started expanding into tea, pan masala and confectionery.
  • Godfrey Phillips India recently launched Pan Vilas Pan Masala for the Indian market. Additionally, Godfrey Phillips India also manufactures and distributes Marlboro under a license agreement with Philip Morris. It has signed Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan as their brand ambassador. Khan later signed new deals, making Pan Vilas the principal sponsor of his IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL T-20 2015. Godfrey Phillips India has also brands in the industry viz. Colorbar USA, Symphony and Super Cup Tea.

Is anyone touching Godfrey Phillips with a 150 foot pole in India?

The answer is NO!

If the company is hit, would it hurt Lalit Modi?

Yes.

So, why is GPIL not being left alone?

A London based wag remarked that during a working lunch, Lalit Modi could be telling Mallya thus: India is a silly nation. Here, justice needn’t be done at all. All one needs to do say that justice is being done and the paid sections of the media will make it seem to be done.

This gaffe of a comment is now world famous!

Will some sinner try to block these blogs as well like my explosive blogs were criminally blocked by Google?

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Author: haritsv

42 years' unblemished record of being an investigative journalist. Print quality journalist in 3 languages - English, Tamil, Hindi. Widely travelled, worldwide. Cantankerous and completely honest.

13 thoughts on “Vijay Mallya Is Free As Air!”

    1. Then how Modi assures the Nation that each and every single pie will get collected from defaulters? Why the Govt. not acting on Lalit Modi still? Why Arun Jaitley not taken to task? The Nation gets fooled?

      Like

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