Is Vijay Mallya chilling at his country home in an English village?

Liquor baron is believed to be at his country home, an hour’s drive north of London

London: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is facing legal proceedings for allegedly defaulting on loans of over R9,000 crore from several banks, is believed to be at his country home in an English village about an hour’s drive north of London.

Vijay Mallya at the launch of the Kingfisher 2014 calendar in Mumbai. Pic/PTI
Vijay Mallya at the launch of the Kingfisher 2014 calendar in Mumbai. Pic/PTI

The UB Group chairman and Rajya Sabha member is thought to have driven to his Ladywalk estate in the village of Tiwen near St Albans in Hertfordshire from his London home near Baker Street area earlier this week.

Mallya (60) is facing legal proceedings in India for allegedly defaulting on loans worth over Rs 9,000 crore from various banks. A Supreme Court notice for him to return to India is expected to be served to him via the Indian High Commission in London some time this week, sources said. The Indian mission has so far issued no statement on the timeline of the notice.

Mallya, who owns plush properties in California and the UK, has one of the biggest country homes on Queen Hoo Lane in the village of Tewin. He likes to drop in at the local pubs during his visits there but has not been spotted around the village so far this week, choosing to stay inside his 30-acre estate guarded by customary iron gates that mark most sprawling country estates in English villages.

‘No plans to abscond’
Mallya had indicated last month that he wanted to move to the UK to be closer to his children and later denied he had plans to abscond. “My statement as to my personal future after quitting Diageo/USL — that I want to spend more time in England closer to my children — has been grossly distorted and miss-portrayed. I wish to reduce my business commitments gradually and devote more time to my family, and that my resignation from United Spirits was a step in this direction,” he had mentioned in a recently issued statement.

Trading barbs

Rahul Gandhi attacks Centre over Mallya
Trying to push the Centre on the backfoot, a combative Rahul Gandhi yesterday asked how it allowed liquor baron Vijay Mallya to leave the country and said PM Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have failed to answer this question in their speeches. The Congress Vice President attacked the government saying the entire country is questioning why this government was ‘helping’ people like Mallya by allowing him to escape.

Mallya a sin of Cong: BJP hits back
Calling Vijay Mallya ‘a sin of Congress’, BJP yesterday hit back at Rahul Gandhi after he asked the Centre why it allowed the liquor baron to fly to the UK even as the party noted that it was under the UPA government that banks gave him loans despite his ‘dubious’ finances. When Congress was in power it ‘looted’ public money and gave a free run to some ‘crook’ industrialists to do so as well, BJP alleged.

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