State Bank of India’s (SBI) efforts to track down properties owned by Vijay Mallya through a detective agency yielded no results. Sources said the detectives were unable to trace property registered in Mallya’s name.
According to sources, the bank had employed a detective agency to trace properties of Mallya in India. “The detectives looked for properties and found none were registered in his name,” said a banker, adding even the house where he stays is registered in someone else’s name and he is registered as a tenant.
“All his properties are registered either in the name of some company or some individual,” the source added.
Banks, using the ‘attachment before judgement’ clause of the civil procedure code (CPC), can attach properties other than the ones already attached. “Once we get the decree from the DRT, we try to sell that property through an e-auction,” SBI deputy managing director PK Malhotra told FE.
Lenders to Kingfisher have not been able to recover loans and their efforts have met with multiple hurdles. One of the assets that banks have been trying to auction is Kingfisher House in Mumbai and also trying to take possession of Kingfisher Villa in Goa.
Kingfisher House is among the assets pledged by the company to a consortium of 17 banks. In 2013, the I-T department had moved a Bengaluru court asking banks to first settle the dues of the department amounting to R350 crore as the property was attached under the I-T Act. The villa in Goa is also in dispute as United Spirits claimed it was a tenant there since 2005 and, therefore, banks cannot sell it without its approval. Recently, the district magistrate had admitted the plea of USL against SBI and other lenders.
Kingfisher Airlines, grounded since October 2012, owes over R7,000 crore to bankers who have been trying to recover their money by selling securities pledged by the firm. These include real estate and shares in group entities. Banks had also sold around 4 lakh pledged shares of USL for R104 crore last year.