DRT pulls up Diageo for delaying Mallya severance package details

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Bengaluru, April 29 (IANS) The Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) on Friday questioned liquor major Diageo for not yet submitting the specifics of $75 million severance package committed to embattled businessman Vijay Mallya.

“In my earlier ruling as well, I had directed the company (Diageo) to furnish the details of the severance package. Why it has not been placed before this court yet?” said DRT presiding officer C. R. Benakanahalli.

Benakanahalli directed Diageo to furnish the details of the severance package agreed with Mallya by May 12 in the hearing on applications filed by State Bank of India (SBI)-led bankers’ consortium.

The SBI applied for first right on securing the $75 million severance package Mallya received on relinquishing the chairman’s role at Diageo-owned United Spirits Limited (USL).

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However, Benakanahalli overruled the bankers’ demand to look into the case on a daily basis but promised to take it up on a priority basis. He posted the next hearing for June 2.

“As per the Supreme Court’s direction, I have to complete the court proceedings into the matter in two months from the date of commencement of the hearing, so I will take the matter up on priority basis, not on daily basis, as I have many other cases pending before me, which also need timely disposal,” he said.

Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines, grounded four years ago, owes more than Rs.9,000 crore to 17 banks.

Meanwhile, in an interview to Financial Times, Mallya said the charges against him are “preposterous” and that he was in “forced exile”.

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Mallya left for England on March 2, days before the bank consortium moved the Supreme Court to restrain him from leaving India.



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