Diageo money was split among my children: Mallya

In a counter-affidavit, businessman says he has no control over their Trusts or the manner in which they will spend the millions

November 25, 2016 12:53 am | Updated 12:53 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Vijay Mallya

Vijay Mallya

Businessman Vijay Mallya said the “$39,999,994 million” paid to him by the British liquor major Diageo Plc following his resignation as chairman of United Spirits Ltd. in February 2016 was equally divided among his three children.

Mr. Mallya said the money was paid as “gift settlements” to them in February, and was included in the statements of their assets he had placed before the Supreme Court in sealed envelopes on April 26, 2016.

In a counter-affidavit, Mr. Mallya placed on record a letter dated November 18 from his banker Edmond De Rothschild (Suisse) S.A. as proof of the payments made to his children Siddartha Mallya, Leana Mallya and Tanya Mallya.

No control

The affidavit said each of them were “majors and citizens of the United States of America” and he had no control over their Trusts or the manner in which they would spend the money.

The counter-affidavit was filed after a 13-bank consortium led by the State Bank of India returned to a Supreme Court Bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and Rohinton F. Nariman after their efforts to recover Rs. 6,000 crore from Mr. Mallya ended up in despair.

They accused Mr. Mallya of not co-operating in the recovery process despite an order from the Supreme Court on April 7, 2016.

The banks, represented by Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi and also lawyer Robin Ratnakar David, said a disclosure statement of assets submitted by Mr. Mallya to the Supreme Court in April this year had not contained a “whisper” about the details, forms and locations of his assets.

Foreign assets

The Bench had then ordered Mr. Mallya to disclose the entire particulars of his foreign assets — their worth, their locations and the forms in which they are — in the next four weeks.

The court had also sought details from Mr. Mallya about the Diageo Plc payment.

The banks had submitted that Diageo itself had on February 28 apprised the Debt Recovery Tribunal about the payment on February 25. They alleged that the disclosure statement filed by Mr. Mallya of assets in his possession as on March 31 had not reflected the Diageo transaction.

The banks had accused Mr. Mallya of “deliberate” concealment.

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