Vijay Mallya is facing legal proceedings for allegedly defaulting on loans worth over Rs. 9,000 crores from various banks had successfully ran away from here. The UB Group chairman and Rajya Sabha member is thought to have driven to his ‘Ladywalk’ estate in the village of Tiwen in Hertfordshire earlier this week. Mallya is facing legal proceedings for defaulting on loans, is believed to be at his country home in an English village about an hour’s drive north of London. A Supreme Court notice for him to return to India would be served to him via the Indian High Commission in London within this week. Mallya had indicated last month that he wanted to move to the UK to be closer to his children and later denied he had plans to abscond. Mallya, who owns plush properties in California and the UK, has one of the biggest country homes on Queen Hoo Lane in the village of Tewin.
He likes to drop in at the local pubs during his visits there but has not been spotted around the village so far this week, choosing to stay inside his 30-acre estate guarded by customary iron gates that mark most sprawling country estates in English villages. Trying to push the government on the backfoot, a combative Rahul Gandhi asked how it allowed Mallya, to leave the country and said Prime Minister Modi and Arun Jaitley have failed to answer this question in their speeches. He also hit out at the Modi government for bringing the “Fair and Lovely” tax amnesty scheme, saying it only helped thieves, black marketeers and drug mafia to convert their black money into white.
Mallya became the Chairman of United Breweries Group in 1983 at the age of 28, following his father’s death. Since then, the group has grown into a multi-national conglomerate of over 60 companies, with an annual turnover which increased by 64% over 15 years to US$11 billion in 1998–1999. He consolidated the various companies under an umbrella group called the “UB Group”, spun off non-core and loss-making businesses and focused on the core business of beverage alcohol. Over the years, he has diversified his business. He acquired Berger Paints, and Crompton in 1988; Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers in 1990; publishing company and the publisher of film magazine, Cine Blitz, a Bollywood magazine in 2001. United’s Kingfisher beer has more than a 50 per cent market share in India’s beer market. The beer is available in 52 countries and leads among Indian beers in the international market.
United Spirits Ltd., the flagship of the UB Group, achieved the historic milestone of selling 100 million cases, becoming the second-largest spirits company in the world by volume under Vijay Mallya’s chairmanship. In 2012, Mallya ceded management control of United Spirits Limited to global spirits giant Diageo, although he retained a minority stake in the business. Kingfisher Airlines, established in 2005, was a major business venture launched by Mallya. It eventually became insolvent and had to be closed down. As of October 2013, it had not paid salaries to its employees for 15 months, had lost its license to operate as an airline, and owed more than $1 billion in bank loans.
In March 2016, a consortium of banks approached the Supreme Court of India to stop Mallya from going abroad due to the pending dues his companies owed them. He had already left India. Now, the political parties are beating around the bush and attacking each other.
Meanwhile, Sri Sri Ravishankar, another BJP supporter, has denied to pay any fine imposed on them by the NGT. India’s top environmental court has cleared the three-day “World Cultural Festival” with the rider that the organisers must deposit Rs. five-crore fine ahead of the inauguration. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has warned that after the event, the organisers are likely to be presented a much larger bill prepared by its experts. Sri Sri has said he will challenge all fines because “we have not done anything wrong”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office confirmed that he will attend the opening of the “World Culture Festival” on Friday. President Pranab Mukherjee decided to opt out of the event earlier this week. On Wednesday, the National Green Tribunal was not sparse in its censuring of either his organisation or a slew of government departments for ignoring the potential damage to the Yamuna’s floodplains, where 1,000 acres are being used to host the event.
The temporary construction at the venue – which includes a 7-acre stage and pontoon or floating bridges over the river – will combine with lakhs of attendees to irreversibly corrode the fragile ecosystem of the area, activists had alleged in court before judges cleared the event.
Two most prominent personalities of India and BJP’s supporters landed the ruling party with great embracement.
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