CBI interrogates Vijay Mallya on Kingfisher

Will Mallya chair USL AGM?

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing the Rs 950-crore loan of IDBI to Kingfisher Airlines in 2010 that had breached banking norms, questioned group chairman Vijay Mallya (pictured) at its office here on Thursday.

The CBI is probing financial impropriety charges against Mallya, who got the loan despite an internal IDBI report questioning the net worth of Kingfisher, since gone bust. Mallya was questioned for some hours, a CBI official said. He has been directed to be available in Delhi for future questioning.

In October, it had searched Mallya’s homes and offices across India. Mallya, who launched the airline as a birthday gift for his son, Siddharth, in 2005, eventually shut operations in 2012 with accumulated losses of Rs 16,000 crore.

Independently, the ministry of commerce, the income tax department and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office are probing fund diversion charges from UB Group companies, all chaired by Mallya, to Kingfisher.

In July, United Spirits, now owned by British liquor firm Diageo, confirmed investigations by central agencies. This was prompted after its internal inquiry found illegal fund diversions  to the defunct airline. Mallya also faces a boardroom battle with USL, which has recommended Diageo evict its chairman from the board.

Mallya’s liabilities through UB Holdings, the company in which he owns a majority, could be as high as Rs 7,730 crore. It has not accounted for several disputed liabilities of the company in its annual accounts.


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