Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Thursday dismissed claims of an Enforcement Directorate (ED) official that he was trying to bargain with authorities in a bid to get his seized assets freed.
“Media reports quote an ED official stating that I am attempting a plea bargain. Would respectfully suggest that the official read the ED charge sheet first. I would invite the ED to advance the same plea bargain theory in Court in front of whom I have placed my assets,” Mallya tweeted.
According to news reports, an ED official had refused Mallya’s offer to pay dues if his assets were freed, saying it was "an attempt at plea bargaining and a bid to bolster his case against extradition to India from Britain."
The official had also said that the ED had not received any copy of the affidavit filed by Mallya or his United Breweries Holdings in the Karnataka High Court, as claimed by the absconding businessman.
Earlier this week, Mallya had broken his silence over the case of loan default worth around Rs 9,000 crore. He said that he was making honest efforts to clear all the dues since 2016 and had placed all his assets before the Court.
"I respectfully say that I have made and continue to make every effort, in good faith to settle with the Public Sector Banks,” Mallya had said in a series of tweets.
Mallya even claimed that he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in 2016 regarding the matter but the duo didn’t respond to his letters.
The 62-year-old businessman, who also owns an Indian Premier League franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore said that he was made the “poster boy of bank default and a lightning rod of public anger” for “politically motivated” reasons.
Vijay Mallya is wanted in India for defaulting loans of state-run banks to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore. He escaped to the UK in 2016. The Government of India was making all the possible efforts for Mallya's extradition from the UK. He was even arrested in 2017 on an extradition warrant. However, he got the bail within minutes of his arrest.