The move came to light hours after CBI Director Anil Sinha questioned the delay by banks in acting against Mallya-founded Kingfisher Airlines Ltd at the 7th CBI conference on “Combating Financial Crimes” here.
SBI has sought impounding of Mr Mallya’s passport as well as his arrest and full disclosure of his assets in the country and overseas.
In another development, the Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to hear a plea by Mr Mallya against SBI’s decision to name him a “wilful defaulter”, citing jurisdiction issues. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and State Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya were also present at the event. The loan was not serviced since January 2012.
The defunct airline suspended operations in October 2012 due to a staff strike over non-payment of salaries and other dues and the civil aviation regulator DGCA terminated its licence subsequently.
In its application, the SBI has asked the tribunal panel to freeze Mallya’s severance package from Diageo plc, which now controls USL, so that lenders can claim that amount.
Diageo agreed to drop all charges of irregularities at USL under Mallya’s watch, and pay him US$75 million over five years, reports the daily.
The England-based Diageo is the majority shareholder of USL with a 54.78 per cent holding, excluding the 2.38 per cent owned by the USL Benefit Trust.
On February 26, the consortium of banks had approached the tribunal to advance the date of hearing, a day after Diageo announced a payout of $75 million for Mallya to resign from the chairmanship of its subsidiary United Spirits. However, more than half of these shares are pledged with banks. The lender led by Arundhati Bhattacharya has moved the Debt Recovery Tribunal seeking to impound his passport after the liquor baron was quoted as saying that he may move to the United Kingdom, said a person who did not want to be identified.