Liquor baron Vijay Mallya owes the banks more than Rs. 9,000 crore. His now-grounded Kingfisher Airlines alone defaulted loans more than Rs.7,000 crore to 17 banks, which have approached the country's top court to recover the entire loan amount.
Meanwhile, a slew of investigating agencies from Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate and others are probing multiple charges of fraud, money laundering and other corporate governance issues. In the backdrop of the raging controversy over his defaults contrasting his lavish lifestyle, Mallya left the country to settle in the U.K. The debate in the country even reached the Houses of Parliament, of which the industrialist himself is a member. The upper house in its recent move expelled the MP from its membership and the ruling BJP promised full support to bring him back if necessary.
Let's take a look at how things unfolded since the businessman stepped down from the post of chairman of the UB Group of companies:
March 3, 2016: London-based Diageo agrees to pay $75 million as severance package to Vijay Mallya, the chairman of its India business. A State Bank of India-led consortium of 17 lender banks move a debt court in Bengaluru seeking lenders' first right on the payout from Diageo's payment. SBI also seeks full disclosure of Mallya's assets in the country and abroad; the bank wants his passport impounded and have him arrested for the Rs.7,800 crore loan default.
March 7, 2016: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) files a money laundering case against Mallya for siphoning a part of Rs. 900-crore loan by IDBI Bank. The loan itself was suspect of undue favour for an airlines that suffered negative credit worth in 2009 and had a low chance of revival. The Central Bureau of Investigation is probing the same since July 2015.
March 9, 2016: The SBI-led consortium moves the Supreme Court to pass an order to restrict Mallya from leaving the country. Saying the debt court was moving slow, requests for an arrest warrant, confiscation of passport and demands security as provided in the Banks and Financial Institutions Act. The court gives him two weeks time to respond.
March 10, 2016: Kingfisher Airlines staff protests over Rs. 300 crore unpaid wages. They accuse Mallya of having no intention of reviving the airline and call his revival plans submitted to the banks/DGCA as misleading. Mallya's exit from the country is confirmed. Congress accuses BJP's support for Mallya's secretive departure from India. Mallya tweets "I did not flee India."
March 11, 2016: The ED issues first summons to Mallya, also directs State Bank of India (SBI)-led consortium to produce all documents related to issuing of loans to Kingfisher. The Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) issues notices to banks to investigate frauds relating to a company under the Companies Act.
March 13, 2016: Hyderabad court issues non-bailable warrant against Mallya in an alleged case of cheating and cheque bounce to GMR Hyderabad International Airport.
March 30, 2016: Mallya agrees to pay employee dues, and proposes Rs. 4,000 crore debt repayment offer. The ED issues second summons and decides to send Letters Rogatories/judicial requests to other countries seeking information on his assets there. The law agency also requests the Reserve Bank of India to explain a policy decision of 2010 that extended its new scheme of corporate debt restructuring to aviation industry, which also benefitted Kingfisher.
April 8, 2016: Panama Papers leak reveals Mallya's link to shell company in Virgin Islands.
April 9, 2016: The ED issues third and last summon. Mallya's failure to honour the summons leads to suspension of his passport for four weeks by the Ministry of External Affairs.
April 18, 2016: A Mumbai court issues a first non-bailable warrant against him. Mallya says banks have no right to seek details of his overseas assets, claims he's an Non Resident Indian. SC rejects NRI plea and directs disclosure of his overseas assets--possibly acquired by loans provided by Indian banks.
April 24, 2016: Mallya's passport revoked by the Ministry of External Affairs.
April 28, 2016: The ministry writes to the High Commission of the U.K. in New Delhi requesting his deportation.
May 2, 2016: Mallya's Kingfisher Airlines' brand and trademarks, and other physical assets including its Mumbai headquarters finds no buyer in an e-auction.
May 4, 2016: Mallya submits his resignation to Rajya Sabha. The house chairman, however, rejects his resignation for being procedurally wrong. Meanwhile, the Ethics Committee of the house suggests expelling the MP given the "gravity of the misconduct" by him as a member.