In an attempt to defuse some of the tension regarding the money laundering charges against him, Kingfisher Airlines chairman Vijay Mallya on Wednesday submitted a proposal before the Supreme Court to repay Rupees 4000 crores of bad debt by September 30, 2016.
The apex court directed the consortium of banks to get instructions and respond to the proposal.
Mallya’s counsel said that negotiations are underway with the banks and the next date of the hearing has been set on April 7.
When his counsel was asked about Mallya’s current location and whether he was back in India, the former replied that his presence was not needed in the matter.
Asserting that Mallya’s proposal should be kept in a sealed envelope, his counsel said that negotiations with the banks are underway, but the media is exaggerating the issue, to which Justice Kurien Joseph observed that the ‘media ultimately stands for public interest’.
Meanwhile, the banks have told the apex court that they need time to review the proposal.
Earlier, the auction for Kingfisher House ended with lenders to the grounded airline failing to get any bids.
The base price of Rs. 150 crores for the office at Andheri in Mumbai’s western suburbs was reportedly “too high”.
The Enforcement Directorate had earlier asked Mallya to make a “personal appearance” on March 18 under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
But the flamboyant business magnate asked for a date in April, making it clear that he would not be able to appear before that.
Mallya, who is currently in the United Kingdom and is being sought out in India over charges of money laundering, claimed that the banks gave him loans after evaluating all aspects and asserted that he is not trying to evade the law enforcement agencies but is on a personal visit.