Mallya flew away just like ”Kingfisher” bird: Bombay HC

Mallya flew away just like ''Kingfisher'' bird: Bombay HC
Mallya flew away just like ”Kingfisher” bird: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court today observed that businessman Vijay Mallya aptly named his company ‘Kingfisher’, as like the bird of the same name he too flew away without bothering about boundaries.

The remark was made by a division bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and B P Colabawala while hearing an appeal filed by the Service Tax department and also another petition filed by the department seeking to recall the auction sale of Mallya’s private aircraft.

“Does anyone know why he (Mallya) came up with the name ‘Kingfisher’ for his entity? In history no one could have come up with a more apt name for this entity. Because Kingfisher is a bird that can fly away…it knows no boundaries…no boundaries can stop it. Just like how no one could stop him (Mallya),” Justice Dharmadhikari said.

The court admitted the appeal filed by the Service Tax department which challenged an order passed by the Debt Recovery Tribunal in 2014, and posted it for hearing at a later stage.

According to the department’s plea in HC, Mallya owes Rs 32.68 crore as service tax from the tickets sold to passengers of Kingfisher Airlines between April 2011 and September 2012. The total unpaid dues that Mallya owes to the department stand at about Rs 532 crore.

In the second petition, the department sought to recall the auction sale of Mallya’s personal jet as the highest bidder had bid only 80 per cent of the plane’s total cost. The court has posted this petition for hearing on September 26.

Mallya’s jet Airbus 319 that can carry 25 passengers and about 6 crew members, had been attached by the department.

In May this year, the department had issued a notice advertising the auction and described the airbus as designed “exclusively for exotic and luxurious use”. It has conference halls, meeting rooms and a bedroom with an attached bath.

Mallya, Chairman of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, is facing action after defaulting on over Rs 9,000-crore loan from 17 banks.

He had left the country in March and is currently said to be in the UK.

( Source – PTI )

Kingfisher, Mallya propose in SC to repay Rs4k cr

Kingfisher, Mallya propose in SC to repay Rs4k cr
Kingfisher, Mallya propose in SC to repay Rs4k cr

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines Ltd today submitted in a sealed cover a proposal for repayment of Rs 4000 crore out of the loan amount of Rs 6903 crore to the consortium of banks led by State Bank of India by September this year.

Along with Mallya and Kingfisher, the proposal was also submitted by United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd and Kingfisher Finvest (India) Ltd.

A bench comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman allowed the consortium of banks a week’s time to respond to the proposal and posted the matter for further hearing on April 7.

At the outset, senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for Kingfisher and Mallya, submitted that they have given a proposal to the consortium of banks as to what can be done under the given circumstances.

He said the copy of the proposal was given today to the consortium of banks.

The senior advocate appearing for the consortium of banks said he would like to go through the proposal and then respond.

Vaidyanathan requested the bench that the proposal should be kept in a sealed cover for the time being, as negotiations were going on for the settlement and media hype could vitiate the atmosphere.

He said the proposal has been prepared after having discussions with the parties through video conferencing.

On March 9, the government had informed the apex court that Mallya, who is facing legal proceedings for allegedly defaulting loans of over Rs 9,000 crores from various banks, has left the country a few days back.

The bench had then issued notice to Mallya and sought his response within two weeks on pleas filed by the consortium of banks seeking direction for freezing his passport and his presence before the apex court.

The bench had allowed the plea of Attorney General that the notice to him can be served through his official Rajya Sabha email ID, the Indian High Commission at London, through counsel representing him before various high courts, Debt Recovery Tribunal and also through his company.

The AG had said that an amount of over Rs 9,000 crore was due to various banks and, on one pretext or the other, Mallya avoided to settle them.

( Source – PTI )

Kingfisher Airlines withdraws its plea in SC

KingfisherKingfisher Airlines on Monday withdrew in Supreme Court its appeal against Karnataka High Court’s verdict allowing consortium of banks led by SBI to take possession of its prestigious property Kingfisher House in Mumbai.

As soon as the matter came for hearing before a bench headed by Justice J S Khehar, the company pleaded the court to allow it to withdraw the petition.

The Airlines had moved the Supreme Court challenging the high court’s January 29 verdict that allowed a consortium of banks to take possession of Kingfisher House.

The banks seeking possession and sale of the property are State Bank of India, Axis Bank Ltd, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank Ltd, IDBI Bank Ltd, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank Ltd, Punjab & Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of Mysore, UCO Bank, and United Bank of India.

(Source: PTI)

Kingfisher moves HC against UBI default notice

KingfisherThe grounded Kingfisher Airlines today moved the Calcutta High Court challenging a communication by the United Bank of India that asked its chairman Vijay Mallya and other board members to meet the bank officials for alleged wilful default on payment of dues to the tune of nearly Rs 400 crore .

The counsels for Kingfisher Airlines submitted before Justice Dipankar Dutta that they have prayed for withdrawal of the notice for wilful default by UBI and that they be allowed a personal hearing along with legal representative on the issue.

They claimed that the bank authorities have refused to allow any legal representative to accompany Mallya or his board members for the meeting, which was scheduled to be held at the UBI headquarters here today. They submitted that the bank cited the Master Circular of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which has not kept any provision for such representation.

The counsels claimed that as there was no provision, it was the discretion of the bank concerned, but the UBI has disallowed its contention without citing any reason. The counsels for UBI submitted that a credit limit of Rs 398.22 crore was sanctioned to Kingfisher Airlines, Bangalore, by the bank.

They alleged that repayment was defaulted and funds were diverted. It was claimed that a consortium of banks with the lead bank being the State Bank of India had extended loans to Kingfisher. UBI was part of the consortium.

They stated that it was just a showcause notice wherein the airline authorities were required to produce the accounts. After hearing both parties, Justice Dutta said that orders would be passed tomorrow.

(Source: PTI)

Mallya in trouble as Kingfisher pilots plan to move labour court

 Kingfisher chairman Vijay Mallya may found himself in trouble as Kingfisher pilots are planning to move labourr court. With the Kingfisher Airline management maintaining a stoic silence over the payment of salary dues, a section of its pilots are contemplating to drag the management to the labour court, sources said.

Vijay Mallya who is passing through tough time, is getting new and new problems every day. Financial weakness creating new problems for him. Kingfisher Airlines is currently facing heavy debts.

 “(Airline) Chairman Vijay Mallya’s communication to the employees conceals more than it reveals. While he claims over 75 per cent staff have been paid, he conveniently ignores the fact that he has still to pay four months’ salaries to them. Now we have come to a situation where we are left with no option but to move the labour court over the issue,” according to  airline sources.

 A group of pilots are in consultation with lawyers in this regard, they said, adding that they are likely to move the court some time this week.

 In the absence of a trade union at the airline for its nearly 1,700 employees, the pilots are planning to approach the court in groups, they said.

 Notably, none of the five private airlines have trade unions. A few years back, a group of Jet pilots had tried to form a union, but the move was nipped in the bud by the management.

 The debt-ridden airline has paid February salaries to around 75 percent of the staff, while the rest are yet to get their dues.

 “Unfortunately, the airline is keeping mum on when it will pay the salaries for March, April, May and June,” they said.

 Mr. Mallya, who shot off an emotional letter to his staff yesterday after a large number of its employees went on a strike leading to cancellation of over 40 flights, had said, “The commitment made by chief executive Sanjay Aggarwal and executive vice president Hitesh Patel regarding salaries recently have been met to the extent of 75 percent.”

 Mr. Mallya, however, gave no assurance by when the remaining salary dues would be cleared.

 He also asked the agitating employees not to talk to the media or “disgrace” the company saying it would affect the recapitalisation efforts.

 Reacting sharply to Mr. Mallya’s letter, some pilots had said there could not be a bigger disgrace to the company than defaulting on payments to its aircraft lessors, airport operators, oil marketing firms, the government, apart from the salaries of its employees.

 Meanwhile, Kingfisher Airline said that all its scheduled flights are operating normally.

 “All our scheduled flights will now be operating normally with immediate effect (July 15),” a Kingfisher airline spokesperson said.

 When asked whether the pilots had called off their agitation and airline had given any assurance that the remaining employees will be getting their February salaries on Monday, the spokesperson refused to offer any comments.

Court notice to airlines, DGCA on high fares

Allahabad High Court Monday issued notices to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and the management of Jet Airways, Kingfisher, Go Air, IndiGo and other private airlines for fleecing passengers by suddenly hiking air fares.

The petitioners, comprising some local activists and advocates, had sought the court’s intervention to restrain the private airlines from indiscriminately raising their fares whenever they chose to. They cited the recent case of the steep increase in air fares to Chandigarh just before the World Cup semi-final in Mohali. ‘Fares were raised even up to 800 percent, which was a blatant move to fleece passengers,’ advocate Ashok Pande said.

Taking serious note of the petition, Chief Justice F.I. Rebello issued notice not only to each of the concerned airlines but also to DGCA.